VRG Update

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Fall 1996

Editor: Brad Scott

Brad Scott     Brad and his wife of 17 years, Michele

Volunteer Profile: Brad Scott

By Debra Wasserman

Brad has volunteered for VRG since 1990. He organized a one-day conference in 1992, helped set up the current office when we moved in 1994, and has developed an extensive computer system. I spoke with Brad to encourage him to share his thoughts on VRG.

Debra: Could you describe what you are currently doing for VRG?

Brad: I have several projects going. First, I'm continually enhancing the software we use for tracking members, activists, press, donations, and book orders. The more that staff  use the software, the more ideas they have for how it can make their job more efficient. They also come up with new projects where the software will help. I'm glad I can provide people with the tools they need to be effective.

Second, I coordinate the fundraising for our most loyal supporters. As an avid supporter myself, I try to communicate my enthusiasm for VRG and convey how effective we are in spreading vegetarian information. I know we can do more if we have more money, so I try to help people understand what the opportunities are and how they can help.  That's why I edit this VRG Update, to let the people who really care about VRG know how their money and/or time are being used.

Debra: And you work full-time too?

Brad: Yes, I also develop software for United Parcel Service.  I think of it as working two jobs.  UPS pays the bills and gives me the income to support VRG, and volunteering for VRG allows me to do something important to help animals.

Debra: So why do you support VRG?

Brad: As an ethical vegan, I want to do whatever I can to help alleviate animal suffering. Since more animals are killed for food than for any other reason, to me, it makes the most sense to work on the issue that has the largest potential impact. So that explains why I work on vegetarian issues.

There are several reasons I choose to support VRG. When I first became vegan, I realized I could only save a limited number of animals a year by avoiding eating them myself. But I also realized I could save thousands of lives if I could convince other people to not eat animals.  By supporting and working with VRG, I'm able to use my talents to make a big difference in reducing the number of animals that suffer. That's my primary motivation. We can accomplish so much more collectively than if each of us works alone.

VRG is more effective than any business or non-profit I've seen. I have done some limited work with other non-profits, and I've been in the business world for 18 years. I've never seen anyone come close to the sustained dedication that Debra, Charles, and the VRG staff have while working as hard as they do. I see how my donations are spent, and I know they're being used wisely and efficiently.  I'm amazed by how much VRG can accomplish with the resources we have.

I wish supporters could spend a day in the office and see all the people we help.  There is so much demand for vegetarian information and so much to do, so I know how important our work is.

And that's why I do fundraising. Because I see what VRG could accomplish with sufficient resources, I want other people to know how much they can accomplish by supporting VRG.

Debra: Tell us about your involvement with the Internet.

Brad: As with most people, I started by using email. I then distributed some of the VRG materials to various vegetarian mailing lists. Early on, I met Bobbi Pasternak, who later became VRG's Online Coordinator. She distributed information to all the major online services.

Once the World Wide Web (the graphical interface of the Internet) became popular, I discovered Don Graft (another volunteer) had organized VRG's materials into a full blown Web site. It was quite a pleasant surprise. Don continued to enhance the site by adding pictures and descriptions of many of VRG's books, converting the VRG Vegetarian Game for interactive web use, and by adding a place people can leave their comments and questions for everyone to see.

Don is moving to India, so I'm taking over coordinating the web site. We want to add some more graphics, so I'm working with other volunteers on some new design ideas. We have a lot of valuable information on our site, including excerpts from past Vegetarian Journals, chapters from Simply Vegan, our brochures, and we've even started putting this VRG Update out there.  We'll continue to improve our web site to make it more attractive and to add to the content.

Debra: What do you do for personal recreation?

Brad: I love to travel and explore new places. One of the benefits of volunteering for VRG is that when I travel for business or personal pleasure, no matter where I go, there is almost always someone I know through VRG. I sometimes meet people for the first time and come away with new friends. People are very open and kind since we have the common bond of vegetarianism. I also enjoy meeting people who come to Baltimore, such as the interns we've had this summer.

I try to spend as much time outdoors as I can, when I am able to tear myself away from all there is to do for VRG. I particularly like biking, hiking, and just about any water sport. My parents have a sailboat which they've raced for the last 22 years. I enjoy crewing with them or just going out for a relaxing sail.

And of course, I like to eat! It's fun exploring different restaurants or experimenting with new recipes. I tend to go for the quick and easy style of cooking, so naturally I love Simply Vegan.

Debra: Well, we certainly appreciate everything you're doing for VRG. The Vegetarian Resource Group wouldn't be the same without you.

Thanks to volunteer Rob Eccles for converting this article to HTML

VRG Home | About VRG | Vegetarian Journal | Books | Vegetarian Nutrition
Subscribe to Journal | Vegetarian Game | Vegetarian Family | Nutshell | VRG-News
Vegetarian Recipes | Travel | What's New | Bulletin Board | Search www.vrg.org | Links

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September 20, 1997

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