Saturday, May 11, 2013

Thank you Volunteers! (All year round!)

What is there left to say about National Volunteer Weeks?

They come and go each year. In various countries at various times of the year. Here in Australia it’s next week. As a manager of volunteers it’s an exciting time for me. I am lucky. I work for an organisation that values volunteers all year round. And they do turn it on for Volunteers week. We have the ceremony, the entertainment, the recognition. The reflection on what a privilege it is to have so many talented and skillful people volunteering their time all year round. It’s a formal recognition.

And volunteers appreciate that! No doubt. But they appreciate it more when they know that their contribution is recognized all year round. After all volunteers just don’t volunteer for National Volunteer Week.

It’s good to see Media getting in on it. Channel Tens the project had a promo on TV tonight talking about their show next week and saying how they would be highlighting volunteering as it is National Volunteer Week. Well done The Project! For we must praise media that highlights the volunteering effort. Even if it is just during National Volunteer Week. Because it will turn the light bulb on in many people’s heads that volunteering happens all year round.

What does the week mean to me? It makes me very proud. Proud that my career involves working with these amazing people all year round. It makes me honoured. Honoured that I am in their company. Inspired – Watching volunteers in action always makes me feel inspired.

But you know what? I feel this way all year round. And this is the challenge for those of us who engage volunteers in our organisations! It is up to us to make every week during the year like National Volunteer Week. Every week, no every day, our organisations and our community should feel proud of our volunteers. Every week, no every day, our organisations and our community should feel honoured that we have volunteers. And every week, no every day, our organisations and our community should feel inspired by our volunteers.

Thank you Volunteers for everything you do! All year round!

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