The DL: Relationship between your SOS chapter and Students Offering Support (HQ) by Greg Overholt

The Students Offering Support family was designed in a similar fashion to the other national & international student organizations; local arms of the organization are located on universities and colleges (your SOS chapters.. where the magic happens), and national & international headquarters (Students Offering Support’s office is now located in Toronto (… where all the boring stuff happens).

In regards to the connection between the two, take a look at the nifty diagram that briefly outlines the functions and the connection points between SOS chapters and SOS HQ:

As you can see, we are all part of the family of Students Offering Support. The reason why there exists distinction between your chapter and the HQ of SOS, is so that you can see YOUR results, track YOUR progress, and manage YOUR social venture. I’ve seen too many national & international organization who treat their student organizations as simply peons in the bigger picture.

When I started SOS, I fell madly in love with the ability to have a direct impact on my peers, and see the results of my labour through the feedback (which in 2004, it was hand-written feedback requiring manual input and calculation into excel :) ) received and the funds raised.. which at the end of the year, we used those funds in the community we visited.

Fast-forward 7 years, and I hope that you still feel the direct and tangible impact of your time and energy – as that was part of the vision of what I wanted to ensure we preserved when SOS HQ was created. Yes, there definitely are differences, for example, excess funds raised at your chapter which are not used in your chapter project are put into a development fund. This development fund is used to:

  1. Support other chapters who may be short a few dollars
  2. Fund additional projects (annual open trips etc),
  3. Ensure that your projects are supported in the long-run, not just until your volunteers fly back home.

So what does that mean for you? It means that you ALWAYS have a team ( ) of SOS staff and national volunteers who are here to help with ANY issue or problem that arises. It means you can sleep well that your development project will be around supporting the community for years to come. It means that you are now part of one of the largest, and most dynamic groups of student leaders this continent has seen – we continue to amazing business leaders, government officials, university administration, and the general community, providing to them that students can study and create lasting positive impact!

If you have any questions, thoughts, ideas, don’t hesitate to e-mail me;

– Greg

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