I love the Oscars. I love the fashion, the speeches, and the whole red carpet experience. I love watching celebrities in their gowns and tuxes celebrating great achievements. It’s just … fun! We don’t have enough extravagant fun in our busy and obligation-filled lives, what with the economic downturn and the struggles our communities endure.
Last fall we tuned in with anticipation as our favorite television shows celebrated service by incorporating it into their story lines. We popped popcorn and put our feet up while we watched the cast of Grey’s Anatomy giving blood and the doctors from Private Practice head down to the homeless shelter to provide free health care. In full disclosure, I love Private Practice. But as fun as it was to watch my favorite stars participate in my favorite pastime, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was another way to bring Hollywood and service together.
Haven’t we all wanted to walk the red carpet at one time or another? Haven’t we all thought about wearing amazing clothes, having our picture taken, mingling with great people and being honored like celebrities? I have, and on Friday I’m going to Cinderella’s Closet to pick out a gown so that I can do just that.
Next week the Volunteer Center will be honoring volunteers as if they are celebrities. The first ever Voluntonies Award Show will feature outstanding volunteers who inspire service in the community. Clarice, an 86 year old volunteer who has made a profound impact on the Drexel House will have her picture snapped by paparazzi and will be cheered as if she were Angelina Jolie for her win in the category of Inspirational Achievement. Lena Hammon, who travelled to Olympia from Australia because of her commitment to the mission of GRuB will be honored for her win with a Global Thinker Award. Winners and nominees from countless agencies will get attention as if they are celebrities, complete with a live band and red-carpet interviews.
It was really fun to watch television stars celebrate volunteerism, but it’s the Voluntonies I’ve been waiting for all year. To all the volunteers in our community who make so much impact: We like you, we really like you!