Booker T. Washington once said, "A volunteer is a person who is a light to others, giving witness in a mixed-up age, doing well and willingly the tasks at hand-namely, being aware of another's needs and doing something about it." National Volunteer Week has embodied the energy and power volunteers evoke on a daily basis as they lead by example-not only encouraging the people they help, but motivating others to serve as well.
So in an effort to lead by example, I want to take a moment to say thank you to the people I'm surrounded by who volunteer their time.
My Uncle Bill who gets teary eyed when he talks about teaching a wounded soldier how to fly fish through Healing Waters. My Aunt Trudy who told me about her introductory training in Hospice and said that sometimes things turn out to be better than you could have ever dreamed. My Mom who reports with excitement how much she sold at the hospital gift store, or my Dad who talks about his advocacy for education reform. I Admire the determination and persistence of my friend Mat when he talks about coaching his volleyball players. I appreciate calling my friend Julia an hearing the latest update on her foster parenting classes.
Our staff and volunteers who have driven miles and miles to take people to doctors appointments or filed numerous tax returns. The ones who hold down the office and who didn't bat an eye when we asked them to spontaneously dance in the streets. Those who compare bruises from giving blood with a VISTA in the hallway or smile as a staff member comes in with bloodshot eyes after doing an overnight at the family shelter.
The countless community leaders who I've had the privilege to spend time with and seek advice and encouragement from as we transform the Volunteer Center and as I grow as a professional.
Thanks to all of you and countless others! I hope this will inspire all of you to take the time today to say thank you,