The Sprit of Volunteering

You may have heard the phrase, “The spirits moved me.” Often this is in reply to a call to action. This is a call to all members with the hope that the spirits will move you and summon you to volunteer for the Sheldon Family Association.

The SFA has been in existence since 1939, with an additional history that goes back even further in time. Its mission is much the same now as it was when it was started. In a few phrases:

  • To learn about and teach all things Sheldon, to anyone who is interested.
  • Documenting and sharing a number of Sheldon trees, and places where Sheldons lived and came from.
  • Gathering and sharing knowledge about how Sheldons impacted their surroundings and fellow man.

It has always been about pursuing the knowledge of who, what, when, where, why and how. It is amazing how much has been accumulated and learned through the years. The effort of previous leaders and the huge participation of volunteers over these 83 years is phenomenal and awe-inspiring. All of this takes selfless people to research, organize, write, and distribute the growing wealth of knowledge and to do so in keeping with the times.

Volunteering is not that onerous, and it is not tedious, either. Yes, it will require that you devote three to four hours
during a week if you are President, or it might be as little as a couple of hours a month if you serve on some of the
committees. The amount of time depends on what it is you seek to do and the level of engagement you wish to make. You have to remember that any amount of contribution moves all of us Sheldons forward. It is rewarding, educational, and very worthwhile. It can even become a passion.

The upcoming year will be one that requires help from new blood. Bottomline: We need some members to step up and be or become the next wave of SFA leaders. The election in July 2023 will be for a new President and a new Secretary. We also need to fill some Director at Large seats. There is a lot to do and a lot to sustain. You can take it in small steps if you wish by first becoming a Director at Large and learning the ropes and responsibilities. Can you heed a call to leadership and help?

Currently, we have a need to fill the Vice President role since the term ended in August 2022. Our VP is still filling in for her role as well as remaining as our leader of the Annual Reunions, but she has new responsibilities to help her immediate family, so we need a VP ASAP. The VP role is obviously active. The VP is a Board Member on the Executive Committee, and the backup should something happen to the President. Being in the loop is critical to this role. My real hope is that this person becomes our Policy and Procedures Manager.

We need to fill a void by having someone take up the mantle of our Social Media accounts and oversight. You do not need to be on the board to fill this role. The SFA has several social media sites. This person is there to keep them current and monitor the activity. This July will be the end of my fourth year as President. While I will remain on the Board and shift my focus to other things SFA, such as the Finance Chair, the Nominations Chair, and a member of the ACPL review team, I am also active in my community and have a growing responsibility as a caretaker, so a step back is required.

Finally, we always need volunteers on our committees for DNA research, Reunions, By Laws, the 501(3) exploration, research, and ACPL data review are at the top of the list. You do not need to be on the board to fill any of these roles. If you want more information or if you want to throw your hat in the ring, please let me know by emailing me at


Michael B Sheldon

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