Monday, September 27, 2010

Volunteer Profile: Daniel Bronson

This post is one in a series on CVN volunteers. We've asked volunteers questions about volunteering to give you a sense of why people choose to volunteer with CVN, and to get to know some of our AWESOME volunteers. If you'd like to be highlighted, e-mail us at

Daniel Bronson

Position with CVN:

Arlington, VA

What first drew you to CVN?
I first discovered CVN while attending a stream clean-up involving multiple volunteer organizations. I believe Miles [Grant, first CVN chair] was there presenting background on CVN and I liked what I heard about this young group of go-getters so I decided to check it out! That, and the cool t-shirts. :)

Why do you think it's important to volunteer?
Without volunteers lending a helping hand many very worthwhile causes will languish. Steam cleaning, working with the elderly, helping the homeless, engaging at-risk teens – all of these activities can be done by paid workers (and they do a great job) but they are a limited resource and we’d be losing ground without volunteers. Not to mention, the volunteers themselves can feel good contributing to something they care about – so it’s a win-win!

How do you balance volunteering with work, etc.?
I get this question a lot – people say “how do you do it, are you some sort of robot?” And to that I reply, “Question does not compute. The human knows too much.” Then I quietly report them to central command, and they are never heard from again. Even so, given CVN’s laid-back “volunteer when you can” approach, coupled with a list of events to choose from every month, it’s not difficult to generate a scenario wherein a fleshy human could incorporate some volunteering time. That is well within my parameters.

Though a community is made up of MANY needs, what causes are you most drawn to volunteer with? I enjoy any activity which gives me a satisfying “I made a difference” feeling at the end. It’s really that simple, I cannot think of a single cause that drives me to fact I seek out variety in my volunteerism. Huzzah!

What's the name and website of an organization or non-profit you'd like others to know about, and in a sentence, what do they do?
Another volunteer group I discovered which leads great events is OneBrick ( They have a social event after most volunteer activities – very much like CVN – so adding them to your calendar gives you even more volunteer opportunities.

Throughout your life, what was the most memorable time you volunteered and why?
After the major area snowstorms I volunteered at Long Branch to pull invasive plants and brought a friend along. Now most sane people would figure the event was called off given the 3+ feet of snow that remained on the ground that particular Saturday morn, and indeed there were only 3 of us that showed up – including the park employee. We actually had to shovel a spot along the road just to park. But our attendance was a pleasant surprise and we were able to remove many vines snaking up trees rather than dealing with anything on the ground. If you can imagine slogging through 4 foot snow banks to reach trees armed with nothing but a camera and a hand saw...well, you probably had to be there – but it rocked! Not only did I get great photos, I didn’t cut myself with the hand saw…not even once. Bonus! :D

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