Hope CommUnity Center has wings because of our volunteers. Every day, they uplift the spirits of community members in need and they allow our organization to fly to greater heights. On October 24, we hosted a Volunteer Appreciation Night to recognize the many ways that they have help us soar.
Nearly 75 volunteers joined us for an evening reception and program in their honor. Attendees included longtime volunteers, such as former Board of Directors members and current Community Advisory Board members, as well as newer supporters like the 2013 – 2014 Notre Dame AmeriCorps team.
At the start of the night, friends and colleagues got a chance to chat over light appetizers. Then, staff members delivered messages of gratitude and testified about the positive effects our volunteers create. One by one, the staff called on each category of volunteers to stand and they were recognized with applause. Notably, many of our youth volunteers stood up in many categories – clearly demonstrating their strong community involvement. We also took time to reflect on the ways that our volunteers are growing and benefiting while serving. In our service-learning community, those who give often find that their work yields unexpected gifts. Teachers have learned lessons. Youth volunteers have gained voices. Everyday helpers have become heroes.
Before closing out the program, Volunteer Coordinator Lynn Devanie announced a new volunteer recognition initiative, the Pathway of Hope and Gratitude. Each year, a few extraordinary volunteers will have their names engraved on bricks in a pathway leading to the center. For the inaugural year, we chose to honor 37 current volunteers, 3 volunteer groups and 2 volunteers who have passed away. (Click here for a full list of honorees) A formal brick-laying ceremony will take place in the spring of 2014.
The Volunteer Appreciation Night was a heart-warming experience that we hope to repeat soon.
Special thanks to:
– Lucy Gutierrez for catering the event
– Dewar’s Nursery for donating mum plants to our guests