Those Who Can, Do

Thank you.

Two simple words that are easy to say can be the easiest to forget in the rush of our hectic daily lives.  Growing up, my parents instilled in me the importance of the words 'thank you' and I always keep their voice in the back of my mind to remind myself to say it. Whether it is in my professional or personal life, it truly can make a difference.

This year April 10th – 16th is National Volunteer Week.  This is an internationally organized dedicated week with the purpose of increasing awareness of the important role volunteers play in our communities.  The theme of this year’s week is Passion, Action and Impact.

To everyone who volunteers their time, no matter where or how much, I want to say, "Thank you."  Thank you for uniting hands and volunteering in our community and for uniting people and engaging with others who also believe that together we can build a better community. I don’t know if there are better words to say to our 5,000+ volunteers as, without them, there would be no United Way.

Along the campaign trail I have had the absolute pleasure to meet volunteers from all walks of life. These volunteers not only inspire, but re-energize me because campaign can truly be a hectic and exhausting time, not just for us as United Way staff, but for all of our workplace volunteers as well.

These volunteers are passionate about their community. They take action and get involved with everything from organizing special events to product drives and Days of Caring. The impact and end result of all their hard work is priceless and the results from all their effort can be seen by visiting Our Work.

Recently I was speaking to one of my volunteers who this year was the new Employee Campaign Chair for her company’s campaign. I called to ask if there was an opportunity to come out to say thank you and recognize her in front of her managers and peers for all of the hard work and effort she put into this year’s campaign. She and a couple of coworkers had recently been discussing that there was a gap between management and the employees in regards to recognition within the workplace. So I called her manager and arranged to come out during a staff meeting to say thank you. It was such a simple act but afterwards, her words to me were, “Thank you for thinking this is important.  I was sure proud of our accomplishment.”

So I ask you, pay it forward and say thank you to someone else who gives their time.  Incorporate it into a Daily Day of Caring and see the difference two simple words can make in someone’s life.

For all sorts of great downloads and materials to recognize your volunteers, CLICK HERE.

Jennifer Herrick is a Campaign Manager for United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.