By Velva Rowell
This month I spoke to fellow OMVNA Steering Committee member Aaron Grossman. Aaron Grossman has served OMVNA as Treasurer since 1999 and CERT CoChair since around 2000. I was very interested in sitting down with him to talk about his experiences volunteering in this community.
Aaron and Anita Grossman first moved to the Bay Area in 1987, and they settled in Mountain View in 1992. They finally purchased a home in Old Mountain View in 1995. He recently downsized to a townhouse just south of Calderon. When I asked Aaron how he first became involved with OMVNA, he responded the “It was Anita’s fault.” She became the Newsletter Editor in 1997, and she recruited Aaron to fill an open spot in the Steering Committee. He has been part of the OMVNA Steering Committee ever since.
Aaron’s main two community activities are OMVNA CERT and the Friends of the Stevens Creek Trail.
Leadership Mountain View training (he’s from the class of 2000) is what first led him to the Friends. According to Aaron, the mission of the Friends of the Stevens Creek Trail is to extend the trail from the bay to the mountains as a continuous, multiuse trail. The proposed path of the trail goes through the cities of Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, and Cupertino, however the Friends cannot build the trail, they can only encourage the cities involved to build the trail themselves. As he says “We cre-ate the political will and voice for that to happen.” Aaron first joined the board of this group in 2000, and has been the Executive Director of this group for three years now.
CERT, the Community Emergency Response Team, provides a way to get local peo-ple involved in disaster preparedness both to prepare them-selves and to help their neighbors prepare. The group, which was founded in around 2000, currently has 50 members, most of whom are local coordinators. Aaron serves as CoChair of the group and as their voice to the OMVNA Steering Committee.
“The idea is to make it fun and help people get to know their neighbors now so we can count on each other in an emergency.” says Aaron. “It’s a great way to build community.”
Aaron believes that the thing that makes OMVNA special is our sense of community. “One of my biggest goals is building community – building connec-tions between people.” He finds that OMVNA brings people together because they are encouraged by the number of people who are willing to volunteer and get involved. “Some of us, myself included, fall into the trap of trying to do everything ourselves. It’s so much better when we include others and widen the circle.”
To learn more about the Friends of the Stevens Creek Trail, go to www.stevenscreektrail.org. For information about OMVNA Cert, go to www.omvna.org and follow the links to CERT. You can also learn about upcoming CERT events by watching the omvnatalk email list.