Volunteer Appreciation Month

Since April is National Volunteer Appreciation month – I have been thinking about how much I appreciate each and every one of the volunteers with whom I personally work here at Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska. Our volunteers are such committed, loving, and loyal people.

In the community outreach department, our job is to find schools and community centers where girls can benefit from the Girl Scout leadership experience. We then collaborate with that school or community center to create a Girl Scout presence on site. Throughout the state we have, at last count, 72 partnerships like this and only nine outreach specialists are employed by the council. Some of our sites meet monthly, but MOST of them meet weekly and I tell you what, there is no way – absolutely NO WAY – that we could have a positive Girl Scouts presence in all of these locations without the dedication of our volunteers.

Most of our volunteers are in school full time and/or have full times jobs, and myriad activities in their busy lives – but they ALWAYS make time for the girls. I know that I can’t give a shout out to all of the Outreach volunteers across the state because I don’t know them personally, and honestly this post would then be enormous  – but I can give a little shout out to the volunteers with whom I work directly:

To Kaelin and Helen who volunteer at Walnut Hill Elementary grades K-6: THANK YOU! Your flexibility, and easy going attitude make a somewhat chaotic group come together in a positive and productive way. Your love of the girls shows every day that you are with them – and has for the last four years you have been volunteering!

To Rachel, Alisha, Lacey, Sarah, Katherine, and Michelle who volunteer at the Douglas County Youth Center with ladies in detention ages 12-18: THANK YOU! Your patience and understanding as well as your willingness and ability to love unconditionally (with ladies that you only are able to work with for a short period of time) is not only inspiring to me, but it is making a strong and positive difference in the lives of those young women. That love and positivity will stay in their hearts and minds for years to come.

To Emsy and Catherine who volunteer at Central Park Elementary with grades K-6: THANK YOU! You may not realize the impact of your efforts – but know that you are creating fond and positive memories every week for the girls with whom you work. You are yet another positive female role model in their lives, and they will never forget the time you took for them.

To Mo, Kara, and Amanda who volunteer at Skinner Magnet Elementary with grades K-3: THANK YOU! You have embraced the controlled chaos that comes with working with a large group of young girls – and you have done it with grace! I have watched you grow and learn. You arrive without fail each week – to the girls delight. You know that you are making a difference when a girl calls you her “best friend!”

To Elise who volunteers with Skinner Magnet grades 4-6 and Yates Community Center with grades 9-12: THANK YOU! Your dedication to the girls and as well as Girl Scouts is inspiring. Your heart is huge and I am so grateful that you are in the lives of the girls. They will look back at this time in their lives and think of you and the encouragement and love you gave them.

To Lorraine who volunteers at Franklin Elementary Saturday School program with grades 1-6: THANK YOU! Your light-hearted smile and demeanor means everything on Saturday morning! Your enthusiasm for every project shows and the girls follow your positive lead – you are a fantastic role model and you are helping the girls have a better understanding of the world around them!

To Josh and Joanna who volunteer at Carver Bank with grades 2-5 (but sometimes more because we just can’t turn anyone away!): THANK YOU! Without you both I would have struggled to keep this site running due to other sites conflicting with the time. My gratitude is over flowing for you. Your love and enthusiasm for the girls, as well and your patience and understanding when doing our art activities, is something to be admired. Because of you, Carver Bank will be a special place for these girls for years to come.

Just writing that all out makes me feel even more gratitude for these amazing people! When I tell you “you’re the best!” I do really mean it. THANK YOU!

Now – I hope this inspires everyone out there to take some time this month to show some serious appreciation and love to the volunteers in your life! Volunteering makes the world go around!

You could also nominate a Girl Scout volunteer for an official award, here are the details.

How are you going to appreciate volunteers this month? Volunteers, how have you been appreciated? I want to hear from you out there in Girl Scout land! Email me today and give me feedback!

 

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Erin Huerter

Outreach Specialist, Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska

 

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