Even when things seem to work out with minimal effort, there often was unseen effort that paved the way. Friends of the Buda Library participation in the Buda Area Chamber of Commerce is a perfect example of this.
As Chamber director J.R. Gonzales says, joining an organization is one thing, but getting involved is important. Gonzales’ advice to “Be a member—but be an active member!” is exemplified by Friends member Roberta Haas. When Haas joined Friends some years ago, she realized that Friends of the Buda Library joined the Chamber every year, but no one attended the monthly lunch meetings. Like Gonzales, she didn’t see the point of belonging but not participating. So, to be community involved and informed, she started going to the luncheons, making connections with other members, and letting others in the community know about the mission of the Friends to support the public library and its varied programs that support all ages.
As a result, when local business Sweet Nails and Spa owner Anthonio Quach told Gonzales he was looking for a local charitable cause to support, Friends of the Buda Library immediately came to mind. Through networking relationships, Gonzales successfully linked Sweet Nails to Haas and Friends of the Buda Library. Over the next year, Sweet Nails allocated $1 of every pedicure to the Friends of the Buda Library, donating over $7,700! Of his efforts, Gonzales said, “All we did was what we do everyday—connect people and businesses!”
Gonzales said the Chamber of Commerce is a business organization, but is all about helping each other. So, the Chamber is happy to help nonprofit organizations as well as for-profits. He explained that the Chamber is there for the whole community, so when it can match member organizations, such as Sweet Nails with Friends of the Buda Library, it does. Additionally, the Chamber gets involved in a variety of fundraising drives and events because, as Gonzales explained, the Chamber’s gain is in “seeing that every organization plays a vital part in its community.”
By: Joan Givens
Photo: J.R. Gonzales , Executive Director, Buda Area Chamber of Commerce