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Liza Dyer: Service Done Responsibly

When I first started thinking about Connecting the Cause, I wondered about the best way to communicate its significance to the world. I wanted something substantial and impactful. Then it occurred to me, how about I do what I love? Get a couple of people together and talk about volunteerism and what it takes to be effective at giving back…duh.

So I thought about some brilliant service-centered mavens, and Liza Dyer came right to mind.

I don’t really remember when I officially “met” Liza, because number one, we’ve never seen each other in person, and number two, our interactions have been super organic and I don’t really remember a beginning. You know that feeling… when you are connected with someone, and you just start talking and realize they are really cool and so you both just stay in each other’s circle, comment on awesomeness, share resources, and cheer each other on when opportunities come around or congrats are in order? That’s Liza for me.


Liza and I share the circle and passion of volunteerism. She’s been working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector for 15+ years and is currently a Program Coordinator in Volunteer Services at Multnomah County Library.

Aside from serving as Program Coordinator and assisting over 2,000 community members connect to volunteer opportunities, I also found out she was an AmeriCorps Alum and I said, yeah, it’s official, she’s bomb. So knowing her insight, her experience, and bravery in championing this sector, I had to ask her what it means to serve responsibly. She gave 3 major keys of what that responsibility looks like:

1)    It means finding roles that speak to personal values.

2)    It means knowing my capacity and motivations so I can find the roles that best match my needs with those of the organization.

3)    Lastly, it involves doing research to find organizations that have well-run volunteer programs along with effective overall operations.

As a volunteer, this is the perfect formula for when deciding if an opportunity is a good fit. It is equally important for volunteer managers to be aware of these steps and travel alongside the volunteer as they discover their own answers in order to fully understand an individual and their effectiveness in the role. 

Volunteers must conduct their own research around finding good fit, while organizations must also do their due diligence with being transparent about roles, what they expect out of the volunteer, and the benefits and rewards that come with it.

Connecting the Cause was created to prepare organizations with the necessary tools to effectively engage their volunteers, so that individuals are deeply connected to a cause and are integrated into a lifestyle of transformative volunteerism.

Liza is the perfect example of service integration gone right.

“Throughout my life, I’ve focused my energies on different causes depending on current events and personal interests. However, I developed a deep love for ocean conservation from a young age and that continues to this day. One of my role models, oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, said: “You have to love it before you are moved to save it.” Through volunteer and paid experiences with museums and science centers, I’ve been able to transform my love of the ocean into action through citizen science, public education, and advocacy.”

This friends, is what that transformation looks like. It’s a journey about discovering one’s gifts and making space for yourself so you are able to get in tune with what you care about, and then putting it into action. Transformative service is about renewing your mind so that you develop increased empathy and serve as a catalyst for self and community change. Liza is really about that life, and is not throwing in the towel anytime soon.

Outside of the day job she loves, Liza also delivers training to volunteer-involving organizations like nonprofits, libraries, and social service agencies. Check her out here, oh and she’s a tweeter too! 

Thank you Liza for sharing your insight, and your enthusiasm for responsible service.


Breauna Dorelus is the Chief Cause Consultant at Connecting the Cause, where she is dedicated to building effective volunteer programs for nonprofits through transformative volunteering strategies. As a service-driven millennial, she is dedicated to igniting others to serve through the power of volunteerism, and passionate about connecting people to their purpose.


15 Affirmations for the Service-Driven Change Maker

We are constantly bombarded with negative news stories, world disasters, and an overload of gut wrenching information. As service-driven change makers, we deal with the hard stuff. Domestic violence, hunger, systematic injustice, police brutality, and refugee rights are just a few of the issue areas we operate in on a daily basis. As we fight for a better world, it is so essential that we practice self-care, feed ourselves positive energy, and have a clear mind and heart about who we are and why we serve. Here are some affirmations I've personally created in order to keep me grounded. Feel free to meditate and think on these affirmations in order to stay centered, focused, and ready for the journey ahead. We need you to be your best self, for you and humanity’s sake.

I am confident in my abilities, gifts, and talents to change the present state of the world.

I am intricately connected and tied to my community and understand its needs. I then use this information to make informed decisions about change.

I am a light to the world and it is my responsibility to give a damn about where we are headed as a planet.

I continuously help people who are in needed and offer my time, knowledge, dedication, and energy to those who are designed to accept them.

I am a passionate individual who thinks critically about life’s challenges and offers viable solutions.

At this moment, have every characteristic within me to change my community and the support from dedicated loved ones to make it happen.

I am a part of transformational change and I see the impact of my work on a daily basis.

I am unselfish in my pursuit to give back and seek nothing in return as my service is my gift to the world.  

I am honest with myself and my pursuits for achieving social impact. Ego has no place in my service-centered heart.

There is nothing holding me back physically, emotionally, or mentally. The door is open for me to love, be loved, and have all of the support I need in order to make sustainable change.

I create love, I design impactful ideas, and I implement effective plans that change the lives of the individuals I serve.

My mind is open to learning new information about myself and how I see the world in order to make effective change.

My energy to serve and my power to give is everlasting. There is nothing that I cannot accomplish.

Giving back is not a burden for me. I find ways to serve every day in the smallest ways that in turn make the highest impact.

I am not only serving, but I am also the one being served. Through my gifts to the world, God and the universe bless me over and over again with love that feeds my soul.

BONUS AFFIRMATION: I ask for advice and help when needed, and do not vie for any accolades and honors that come with giving back. I serve because that is my purpose on this earth. When I fulfill my purpose, I am in turn, a better human. This is my reward.

Are there any affirmations you personally subscribe to? I'm always looking to add more to the list. 


Breauna Dorelus is the Chief Cause Consultant at Connecting the Cause, where she is dedicated to building effective volunteer programs for nonprofits through transformative volunteering strategies. As a service-driven millennial, she is dedicated to igniting others to serve through the power of volunteerism, and passionate about connecting people to their purpose.