Next week, my organization will join many others across the country in celebrating the service of volunteers and recognizing their many contributions. As the week draws nearer and we finalize preparations for our annual dinner and awards ceremony, I have found myself thinking not just about VSH volunteers, but about all the different ways that volunteers serving in all different kinds of capacities support me every single day.
Community events are an obvious place to start. Richmond has lots of great events, and I would be willing to bet that almost all of them utilize volunteer support of one kind or another. When my family attended Monument on Parade this past weekend, we noticed volunteers helping out with activity booths, and when we ran the Monument Avenue 10K last weekend, we thanked volunteers every step of the way. In fact, Richmond would not be able to offer such a great spectrum of art, music, food, athletic, and cultural events without the engagement of hundreds upon hundreds of volunteers who work alongside vendors, police officers, event coordinators, and spectators to make the events as successful, safe, and fun as possible.
The high school my daughter attends engages volunteers (I’ve seen them in the office), and in turn my daughter serves as an after-school volunteer at the nearby elementary school. The public library around the corner where she spends a lot of her afternoons doing homework utilizes volunteers and so does our local branch of the YMCA. Frequently volunteers are the ones checking me in, cleaning the equipment, watching small children, and supporting family events like Movie Night, Float Night, and the community Easter Egg Hunt.
Two weeks ago, I visited a friend in the hospital and it was volunteers who helped me determine what floor she was on and how to get to her room. And of course at church, volunteers do everything from serving Sunday brunch to teaching Sunday school to counting Sunday offerings.
Volunteers inspire us every day at work. We wouldn’t be good at what we do if we weren’t always mindful of the impacts they are making and communicating that to the people who need to know. But I’ll bet that if you stop and think for a minute, you will realize that volunteers are intersecting with everything we do, all the time. And realizing that makes me feel even more thankful, even more appreciative, even more grateful for their amazing spirits of service. They are influencing all realms of my life in positive ways and that is truly something worth celebrating!
Happy National Volunteer Week 2015!
At Your Service,