Thank Volunteers for Their Heart Work

Jennifer Hughes
National Park Foundation
Senior Manager, Board and Council Relations

Volunteers are special people. They offer your organization a diverse skill set and bring incredible abilities to help deliver on your organization’s greatest needs. Volunteers make a difference by recognizing no task is too small or insignificant. Each volunteer is a tiny piece of the puzzle with a large purpose in making change and creating opportunities throughout the world. One of my favorite quotes comes from Mother Teresa: “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

I spent the last seven years in a donor relations role. I had the great honor to be able to communicate the impact and importance that philanthropy has on our national parks as part of our stewardship events team. Last year, I transitioned over to a new role in governance and working directly to manage our Board of Directors and National Advisory Council, some of our organization’s biggest supporters and ultimately, volunteers. Being able to think of creative ways to thank them for their volunteer leadership and philanthropy is a rewarding aspect of stepping into this new capacity for me. Sometimes we get caught up in the details of our roles without appreciating the broader ways that our daily efforts help meet the organization’s mission.

This is a friendly reminder that they are not just volunteers. They’re not just planting trees. They’re not just serving a bowl of soup. They’re not just planning the next ADRP International Conference. We know that our volunteers’ impact far exceeds the action that is taken in our communities, and we should continuously thank our volunteers for their commitment and talents. I encourage you to send a note of kudos to your volunteers and show your appreciation for all of their heart work and dedication to help build upon your mission today.

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