April ….. showers – spring – the onset of new beginnings and for us in the profession – time to recognize our volunteers. In addition to showing appreciation, Volunteer Recognition events should be about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. It give us all a chance to see that by working together, we can collectively meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.

Use this time of fresh new starts and seize the moment and the national spotlight that National Volunteer events deservedly receive. With some well thought out planning you can leverage this brief window of national opportunity to advance your individual cause and promote volunteer commitment in our own community. Focus your attention on existing volunteers – tell them in small and large ways how they support your agency mission and vision in the things that they do day in and day out. Use that focus to draw attention to your existing needs – letting others how they can join in and be part of the team of volunteers you already have.

The May membership meeting will provide members with a forum to discuss ways that you can recognize volunteers without breaking the bank. Consider a simple card rather than an elaborate luncheon – a sign of appreciation goes along way. RAAVS members have a unique opportunity to nominate their volunteers for the annual Carol Ritter Write award. If you have not already done so, please consider submitting a name or two. It’s a great way to show appreciation while drawing attention to your agencies cause.

Indeed the selfless commitment and efforts of all volunteers should be acknowledged and recognized on a regular basis throughout the year, but especially during this month of national attention. Be creative, have fun and enjoy the new beginnings of Spring !!!

Tina Bennett
RAAVS Secretary