Each time I undertake a new project, I am amazed at how unique and varied nonprofit organizations can be. They require different kinds of assistance and have different strengths. They have evolved in unique ways. I learn so much from each one! And I have learned, “one size does not fit all.”
I have enjoyed working with TEXSAR: Texas Search and Rescue. The truly essential, life-saving work of TEXSAR has been conducted for a decade with the time and talents of devoted volunteers across the state who pay for their own gear, train on their own time, and who on a moment’s notice take time off from family and business to respond to emergency requests for help. They have become some of our state’s leading experts in search and rescue during floods and swiftwater incidents, wild fires and missing persons. They have one of the finest K-9 teams in the nation. Last year, TEXSAR volunteers saved more than 50 lives. They gave more than 20,000 hours of their time to the citizens of Texas.
With the Memorial Day 2015 floods in Texas, one bright spot in the midst of chaos was that charitable donations were made by many concerned individuals, foundations and corporations. This has allowed TEXSAR to hire its first paid employee as well as an accounting firm. Dozens of valued supporters have been formally acknowledged at long last, social media has been enhanced, and a regular communications system has been launched. Potential donors of equipment and an urgently-needed new TEXSAR facility are being researched, and grant proposals submitted. It has been “life in the trenches” for me, but very rewarding.
TEXSAR has an unique business model for supporting local, state and federal law enforcement during times of crisis, one other states and nations might wish to consider. I have seen it behind-the-scenes and on-the-ground, and I am impressed.