November Meeting Recap

International Volunteer Manager’s Day Celebration – November 3, 2017
Hosted by Ellen Costlow and Special Olympics – Virginia

The Theme for the Day – Volunteer Management. One Job. Many Hats.


Many thanks to Brynn Markham, Professional Development Chair for GRAVA, for bringing so many great props and so much energy to the celebration. Brynn made sure that everyone received a GRAVA tote bag so we can share the message when we are shopping or running errands. She also brought wonderful hats to be used for photo ops in front of the IVM “wall.” Part of the photo ops included great signs which highlight the variety of “hats” we wear as Volunteer Managers: Magician, Trainer, Motivator, Interviewer, Manager and Miracle Worker.

Delicious ham biscuits and a giant Sugar Shack donut shared space on the refreshment table with lots of delicious fruit and the usual array of goodness which Kate Bausman, Hospitality Chair, provides.

After Melissa welcomed our crowd and new members introduced themselves, Joanna Brown, from the Salvation Army, spoke about the newly opened Community Kitchen in East Richmond. The management of the kitchen is looking for nonprofits who would like to use the space to teach classes or develop programming which will benefit the youth and their families so it can become a robust community gathering place.

Ellen Costlow provided an overview of the initiatives of the Special Olympics – Virginia crew and spoke about the efforts to create unified sports opportunities for youth with and without intellectual disabilities. Efforts of volunteers are directed towards programs which address health, education, community building, as well as sports. These programs address inactivity, intolerance, and social isolation. Ellen and the Team are doing amazing things.

Brynn Markham encouraged volunteer managers who are interested in Peer2Peer Mentoring, formerly called “the Buddy Program” to contact her so that she can put folks interested in specific topics together to benefit their professional development.

Then we introduced Judy Long, our presenter. Judy, who is a certified Personal Trainer, has been working officially in the fitness industry since 2012. Her program for us focused on identifying symptoms of being stressed and productive ways to de-stress which won’t send our systems into a downward spiral. With that in mind, Judy led us through 5 Steps to De-stress and provided a flyer to take with us to remind ourselves of those 5 Steps. I have already been putting her suggestions to work in my life. You can find out more about programs Judy offers at her company website: and at her Facebook page: AFX Fit & Boot Camp RVA.

We captured as many of the amazing Volunteer Managers as we could for a group photo at the end of the meeting, and they all appear very relaxed!  Great job, Judy!

In December we will take a break from our workshop schedule but be sure to mark our January 5, 2017 workshop on your calendar. We will be at the Community Idea Stations, 23 Sesame Street, Richmond 23235.

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