This is National Volunteer Week, April 23- 29, 2017. Started in 1974 by Proclamation from President Richard Nixon, it is an opportunity to recognize and thank volunteers. At Wild Ones chapters this means thanking volunteers who wear a variety of hats — from being a board member, chairing a committee or being a get-it-done person to manning the display, making a presentation or sorting plants for a plant sale. Everyone who takes on a role to help an organization accomplish their mission and to grow is so appreciated and this is the official week to let them know (although it doesn’t hurt to let them know at other times of the year as well).
There are a number of ways to thank volunteers. My personal favorite is to send a thank you note — could be by USPS or e-mail or some other form of social media. Another good way to recognize volunteers is to invite them to a potluck and spend the time conversing about what they’ve accomplished during the year. At my Wild Ones Fox Valley Area Chapter, one extra perk is the award of a permanent name tag.
As Executive Director of Wild Ones, I relied upon volunteers to help maintain the WILD Center grounds. We always had a great time working together and sharing our thoughts about native plants and natural landscaping. The pot luck that followed each get-together was the time to catch up socially and develop good friendships (besides some pretty awesome food)!
P.S. I’d be interested in knowing what your favorite thank you for volunteering has been.