April 6 through 12 is National Volunteer Week, which is an opportunity for all of us to thank the volunteers who impact our lives every day in a number of ways, both large and small.
I’m always baffled by people who say “oh, I’m not a volunteer.” Really? Have you ever worked the concession stand at your children’s ball games? Ushered at church? Participated in Live United Day? Been a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army? Participated in Bowl For Kids Sake, or chaperoned a class field trip? If you answered yes to any of these, then you are a volunteer, whether you realize it or not!
Volunteers are a diverse group. Some are devoted to a specific cause or organization; some are willing to jump in wherever needed. Without volunteers, the work of many nonprofit organizations simply would not get done. As Executive Director of Logan’s Landing, I know that firsthand!
With a paid staff of only one person (yours truly), we rely heavily on volunteers to serve on our Board of Directors and on various committees, to plan and chair events, plus the numerous people who sign up to work a one or two hour shift performing a specific task: selling tickets or collecting admission fees at events, posting flyers, collecting money during charitable roadblocks … and the list goes on and on.
One of Logan’s Landing’s largest all-volunteer events is our annual Downtown Green & Clean Day. One Saturday each spring, volunteers converge on downtown Logansport to pull weeds, trim bushes, pick up litter, sweep, rake, and just generally spruce up the downtown district. Some sign up as individuals, some form teams with friends, family, and co-workers.
We’ve had teams from churches, Scout troops, school groups, local government, and businesses and organizations. In 2013, 106 volunteers collected six bags of trash, one bin of recyclables, and more than 90 bags of yard waste, plus at least one truckload of loose (unbagged) brush!