GGMG Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

Since I starting volunteering with Golden Gate Mothers Group, I've been hearing about the amazing volunteer appreciation dinners they put on twice a year and that they were not to be missed. Luckily I only had to wait a few months for the first one that was held this past Monday night.

I usually don't look forward to these types of things, particularly when, like in this case, I know very few people who would be there, and even those I know are only acquaintances. But something about this group of women was different. I arrived by myself and was immediately greeted by someone I knew. I was whisked in, given a raffle ticket and shown to the bar. I quickly found someone else I knew who was gracious in introducing me to others. That seemed to be the theme of the night, anytime I started talking to someone, it usually led to them introducing me to someone else who was also pleasure to talk to.

The other ladies I knew eventually arrived and I chatted with them as well, but it's the first time I can remember being in that situation -- in a large room of people I mostly don't know -- where I felt totally comfortable and was having a great time. I usually detest networking-type of events as I'm really not good at walking up to people I don't know, starting conversations and making small talk. I'm not sure what made this different, but everyone was so friendly and welcoming.

It was a simple night with no other agenda than to thank the 200+ volunteers who run Golden Gate Mothers Group spanning committees like Membership and Toddler Playgroups (the two I'm on), Community Outreach (which leads support groups for PPD, single parents, etc., as well as supports the community through diaper drives, etc.), the Magazine and about 15 others. There was time for cocktails and to decide which raffle we would enter. Wow, they had sourced some amazing prizes. A month of free pilates. $150 to a top SF spa. A family photography session (that's what I entered, but didn't win :( Even after all the 'big' giveaways were done, they continued with about 20 smaller ones -- $100 to instacart, a mini micro scooter, the list goes on. Again, I didn't have much luck, but hopefully over the years I continue to volunteer with GGMG, I'll make up for it.

After a nice dinner and lovely conversation with the membership chair who I was seated next to, and who happens to live in the neighborhood we're moving to (got all kinds of good tips, including an invaluable one about applying to preschool in SF...), we ended the night with photos with our committee and a bag full of goodies to take home.

The night left me so energized and grateful to be part of this wonderful community of moms in the city. I love the diversity of the group and how passionate everyone is about raising their kids in San Francisco. While so many of the members are most active through the forums (and often only reading posts, not actually commenting or starting new threads), and I admit I can get caught up in reading them too, it was so refreshing to meet so many people face to face and feel so comfortable. I'm looking forward to contributing more to this group in coming years as it's clear how much it offers to so many moms in the city.


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