November 17, 2008

Business slow? Volunteer! via green modern architect Brandy LeMae of Candy Shop. [BGBG, ReSource Conservation, Boulder, AIA, Yes1A.org]

You’ve heard the news haven’t you? The economy is down.

Times aren’t quite as rosy as they have been. Many small business owners are experiencing a slow down at work. What do they do during the slow times? My husband Joseph Vigil and I own VaST architecture, have had little work lately—so we’ve found some ways to keep busy and give back to our wonderful community.

Rather than just sitting on our hands waiting for the next paying job to come in, Joseph and I are making the most of our down time by volunteering for community organizations close to our hearts.

Joseph has been on the Board of Directors of the Boulder Green Building Guild (BGBG) since its inception, but in 2008 he stepped up to be Board President and he sits on the Membership Committee. A couple weeks ago when a call came in from the Northern Colorado Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) asking if Joseph was interested in being on their Board, he looked at his open calendar and said, “Yes,” without hesitation. “What better time to volunteer then when business is slow?” In addition to these two boards, Joseph can also be found at University Hill Elementary School Improvement Team Meetings and working with Arapahoe Ridge High School as an Advisor to their Construction Trades Program.

Earlier this year when the Center for ReSource Conservation (CRC) decided to move their offices, Brandy and Joseph offered free design and architecture services to the organization. This is an organization we really believe in and we appreciate the work they do, so when they asked us for help at a time when our schedule wasn’t too full, it was very easy to say yes. The CRC offices are now complete and open to the public!

Joseph’s volunteer schedule keeps him pretty busy, but I also wanted the opportunity to do my part. So when Ken Regelson called me a couple months ago about volunteering for the Yes on 1A Campaign Committee, I was happy to put it on my schedule. I ended up creating the Yes1A.org logo, yard sign, postcard, flyers and print advertising.

In addition to the 1A Campaign, I also helped the BGBG with graphic design projects from time to time, and just put in about 10 hours working on a community presentation on green building materials sponsored by the BGBG.

And, if all that isn’t enough,  Joseph and I, along with our 7-year old daughter Carmen, are a volunteer host family for Youth for Understanding (YFU). This year we were a welcome family to a 15-year old from Yokohama, Japan.

~ Via Brandy LeMae, my favorite modern mostly green architect (featured in DWELL, my favorite modern mostly green magazine) who put together the Candy Shop, my favorite super-green co-office ever.

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