It’s National Volunteer Week (NVW) in Canada. At LiveWorkPlay we try to celebrate our volunteers every day (since they make an essential contribution every day).
When unique opportunities for celebrating NVW have come up in the past, we’ve jumped at the chance to make a fuss over our wonderful volunteer team. This year we will focus our volunteer recognition efforts on our annual Engines of Success banquet (June 6, 2013) and for right now and in honour of NVW we’ll just talk about them a little and say thanks!
First, a mention about the many different types of volunteers at LiveWorkPlay.
Although to some they might seem like “the group of people who spend a lot of time on stage at the annual general meeting” their work goes on all year long. Yes, it’s the LiveWorkPlay board of directors! They come together mainly on Saturday mornings (dedicated!) where they spend time not only reviewing financial reports and meeting other practical governance requirements, but also thinking about the future of the organization and how the decisions we make today will impact on our mission-oriented outcomes of tomorrow. They also do policy research, spend time on board training, and attend public events.
Many are familiar with the large team commonly known as “Friday night volunteers.” They fan out all over Ottawa every Friday enjoying social gatherings, sharing meals, cheering on the local team at sporting events, and more. It’s mainly about enjoying time out with LiveWorkPlay members, and it’s for mutual benefit. Our volunteer coordinator receives weekly feedback and it is mostly stories about new experiences or insights gained just by being a part of it all. Sometimes we also hear concerns and are able to follow up with members to see if any help is needed.
Next, we have volunteer “matches.” These are community members who spend time mainly one-on-one with a LiveWorkPlay member that was looking to share a particular interest. Although sometimes these relationships start off with very specific requests like “looking for someone to train with for the 5k” things often branch out. Such is the case with Emily and Ellyce. They do so many different things together, there is no point trying to form a list. It’s not what happens with every match and that’s OK, but are we thrilled when this happens? You bet. The hats say it all!
A further category we haven’t mentioned would be the uber-volunteers. These keeners might wear two or more volunteers hats (like being a board member, a Friday night volunteer, and a match) and/or develop their own initiatives, like the LiveWorkPlay Ottawa Race Weekend team.
Last but not least, we have our “family volunteers.” These are parents, siblings, grandparents (and often extended family and friends) of LiveWorkPlay members that help out in various ways, most often with fundraising. Check out the news from the April 4th Recipe for Success Culinary Adventure and Charity Auction and you’ll see a huge number of families that contributed as sponsors, helped recruit items for auction, or spent big during the auction – or did all three!
To all of our volunteers, thank you for all that you do. You are at the heart of what makes LiveWorkPlay great and you are on the front lines of the movement for a more inclusive Ottawa. Please join us at Engines of Success and help us celebrate!