We are incredibly grateful for the many volunteers who serve at BCM in a variety of ways. Our board members play a crucial role behind the scenes, providing leadership, strategic direction and spiritual covering. Kathy Welsh has been on our Board of Directors for the past four years and wanted to share these reflections on her time at BCM with you. We are grateful for your service, Kathy!
BCM and my church, Menlo Church, have been ministry partners for over 30 years. Being involved in missions in my church, I saw how well vetted our ministry partners are; my first introduction to BCM was through discovering that it was one of the local ministries supported by my church.
A BCM board member I knew invited me to a banquet and then told me she thought I should consider being a board member. When I asked her why me, she told me “You would bring fresh eyes and you always say what you think.” I went ahead and submitted my application, knowing I had a lot to learn about the ministry in order to serve it well.
In my first few months on the board, I attended the annual retreat at Redwood Christian Park. That was where I really got the sense of what a fun and playful spirit everyone at BCM has, while still taking the ministry and responsibilities seriously. I am so fond of everyone on staff and so impressed with their good work. The BCM staff are God’s hands and feet, they are his helpers.
Children television's host Mr. Rogers said his mother responded to scary news by telling him, 'Look for the helpers.' As the problems faced by the East-of-Bayshore community have been more apparent to me, I have felt inspired to show up, learn more, and encourage the people who are doing good work. I found helpers at BCM and I want to introduce them to others. As the board chair, I spoke at the last two banquets, encouraging supporters to give generously and regularly.
In addition to Bible Clubs, Mentoring, Tutoring and Robotics, an important part of the work of BCM is outreach and partnership development. When I attended the Social Justice Series led by Amy Joh on immigration, education inequality, and mass incarceration, I wanted to put her in front of more people who would appreciate their good teaching and advocated that she come to Menlo Church. Menlo Church and BCM ended up inviting Menlo’s congregation to attend a Saturday at BCM to learn about the history of East Palo Alto in addition to hosting the four-week Social Justice Series.
I work at Stanford and I heard some young colleagues talking about their concerns over the immigration situation. One of them lived in East Palo Alto, so I asked her if she had heard of BCM. I sent her a link to the website and the next thing I knew, she was volunteering with the Leaders in Training high school mentoring program.
At board meetings, I have had a window into the joys and challenges of running a nonprofit. A smooth-running board supports the Executive Director and BCM is fortunate to have dedicated board members whom I have enjoyed getting to know. In a few months, I will be rolling off the board, but my support for BCM will continue and I will follow God’s nudges to let others know about BCM.