Did you know that April is Volunteer Appreciation month?? Until I started working at Literacy Nipissing, I knew no such thing. I have volunteered at many places over the years but I really didn’t know when Volunteer Appreciation was…you just do your thing and someone will eventually say “Thanks”. But there is actually an entire month set aside to make sure that we acknowledge the selfless gift our volunteers give our organization but especially give to our learners.
I have noticed over the past few years that our volunteers just want to give. They don’t give to get recognition, they give to make the life of someone better. As I ordered the cake for this year’s Thank You Tea, I wondered to myself how many volunteers would come out to our event. I said to myself, “probably not too many but you never know, maybe this year it will be all 50 of them.” So I ordered a big cake and we had left overs. Once again volunteers gave to our learners through left-overs!!! It doesn’t hurt our feelings if volunteers can’t come to a tea and enjoy a piece of cake in the middle of a Friday afternoon. There is a lot happening in our worlds and cake may not be on the top of “What should I do today?” list. (it is always on mine though – lol) What is important to us is that all of our volunteers know that they are appreciated and are held in high-regard. That is the main reason we host a tea in April.
I am sure that every volunteer would surely take a gift of one million dollars but sorry that is not in the cards around here!! But what we can give you are stories of learners that you have helped. You will be able to see their success, their pride and their excitement about this new aspect of their life that was given to them in part by the work of a volunteer. On Friday, Jane (our former Executive Director) forwarded this precious message she received. I thought I would share it here so that all volunteers could see the result of the work of a volunteer.
I received this message on Facebook this morning from a former student and a good friend.
Hi Jane, this is how l feel since l have learned to read better. Every book is like a new world to me never seem to have enough of them. When my Mom helped me unpack some boxes she asked me if l had enough books, l said no Mom l can never have enough books. lol. Just thought l share this with you , have a nice day Jane.
Underneath this message was a picture of a book cover. On the book cover it said, “I have 20 unread books at home, but I really, really need to buy this one. – The story of a book lover.”
Because of the efforts of a volunteer tutor, this precious learner has developed a love of reading and doesn’t want to stop. Can you imagine a life without books?? I can’t. Thanks to our volunteers some of our learners are discovering a world that they never knew existed because they now can read.
So this is not a gift of a million dollars but it is a gift that says,”you are making a difference.” It is not a piece of cake but a nugget of truth to tuck away when you need reassurance that what you are doing is worthwhile and of value. Remember the learner who can’t get enough books.
Thanks “a million”.