Opportunities to Serve and Be Served
Members of the IMSB community volunteer to serve in many wonderful ways. A service opportunity is now in development: a Care Team that will tend to the needs of our own sangha members. The Team will consist of volunteers willing to provide care to their sangha peers who need practical support—be it a ride to the doctor’s office, a home visit when someone is sick or recovering from surgery, or other simple tasks.
How It Works
Any sangha member can volunteer for the Care Team. Simply fill out the Care Team Volunteer Registration Form. The form gives volunteers an opportunity to state how they might best be of service. Options on the form include activities such as giving car rides, cooking, walking a dog, buying groceries, or simply providing companionship. A member of the Care Committee will match volunteers with a sangha member in need. Volunteers who provide transportation services are asked to submit a copy of their driver’s license and auto insurance policy, which must be current and valid.
Serving the community supports our Buddhist practice by cultivating compassion, generosity, and patience, and examining our own relationship to caring, suffering, and service.
Any sangha member can request short-term or emergency services by directly contacting the Care Committee: care.
When a request for such care is received, a Care Committee member will work with the person in need to explore the best way to help. If the need is uncomplicated, the Committee member may informally arrange to have it taken care of through volunteers. If the need is complex, the Committee member will work with the person in need to set up a calendar for requested services on the website lotsahelpinghands.com. The Care Committee Coordinator will invite volunteers with skills that match to sign up for a particular service. The volunteer will then contact the person in need to arrange the best way to provide the requested service.
Who Can Ask for Care
If you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions and consider yourself an IMSB member, you are eligible for assistance from the Care Committee:
- Do you attend events at IMSB?
- Do you volunteer at IMSB?
- Have you participated in any of the classes or retreats given by the teachers of IMSB?
IMSB policy is that the person in need should be the one who makes the request for help. If another sangha member senses that the Care Committee might be helpful in a certain situation, that sangha member should urge the person in need to directly request help from the Committee. In this way, we hope to maintain and respect any member’s desire for privacy.
Care Committee Mission
The Care Committee of Insight Meditation South Bay encourages the informed and active participation of each member in support of all members with respect to their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. We intend to act with kindness, generosity and wisdom so that each member of the sangha receives needed support for their practice.
We accept and uphold that:
- All individuals can benefit through access to the teachings of the Buddha.
- We are a diverse community of interdependent beings with differing needs.
- There are events and life passages that we honor with individual acts of caring or with public acknowledgment.
Our activities will include Care-giving, Celebrations, Ceremonies
With these statements in mind, we will make an effort to:
- meet members’ and visitors’ needs for physical access.
- assist members in the event of injury, illness or emotional distress.
- offer services for birth, marriage, and death for members and their families.
We will act as individuals and as a committee to respect privacy while endeavoring to:
- arrange transportation for those unable to drive to meet their health care needs or attend sangha events
- provide access to sangha activities for those with physical disabilities, including vision, hearing and motor impairments
- provide food and shopping services on a short-term or emergency basis
- provide temporary emergency child or elder care
- offer assistance and support during illness, injury, childbirth or bereavement
- provide specific services with respect to marriage, birth/naming, and death celebrations
- gather information concerning public and private assistance for member needs that are beyond our scope of service (for example, temporary housing, public dental and health clinics)
- develop a Care Committee brochure describing services offered and how to access these services
- meet with other sangha committees to evaluate member needs generally and to develop methods of communicating our capabilities