Due to a dream I had last night, I awoke thinking about a volunteer position I had many years ago at a local museum. (The museum is no longer in existence due to very poor fiscal management.) I did a one week stint as part of a teacher-in-the-workplace project. There were other places I volunteered in other summers, but this one stands out as I worked very hard, getting projects accomplished for staff members. One of the women for whom I worked thanked me at the end of the week, but that was about it.
I should have realized then that this would be a precursor to future volunteer jobs. I’ve done quite a few now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that organizations that use volunteers aren’t very good at showing their appreciation. In many cases, even though I have donated large amounts of time and talent, the organization wants me to also donate money to their cause. Often it’s in the form of a membership or raffle tickets. Sigh.
What has happened to thank-you notes? Or a luncheon for volunteers? Some small token of appreciation. The school chaplaincy provides a breakfast at each monthly meeting and a large Christmas dinner at the end of the year. This year, the chaplaincy also gave all school chaplains rolls of stickers to use with their students. We hear “thank you for all you do,” quite often, too.
So, if you are involved with an organization that uses volunteers, I hope you convince the powers who be to show appreciation to those who are giving of their time and energy. Or, that pool of volunteers might just dry up.