National Volunteer Month shines a spotlight on the significant impact of volunteer service and its profound ability to build stronger communities. During National Volunteer Week (April 19-25), we recognize the importance of volunteering and the contributions that volunteers make by generously donating their time and talents to worthwhile causes. Differing from previous years, organizations and other entities may not be able to physically gather together to celebrate volunteers, but there are ways to show appreciation! Consider the following:
- Share a “Thank You” video or send a personal note of thanks to volunteers
- Using pictures from previous events, highlight the special contributions of your volunteers on social media
- Schedule one-on-one video or phone calls with volunteers to solicit their ideas and check on their well-being
- Host a Zoom, TEAMS, or Google Hangouts meetup/virtual event with key volunteers
In honor of National Volunteer Month/Week, here is a great example of unwavering volunteer spirit and community members helping to make a difference during the public health crisis:
Partnering together, Fredericksburg VA Main Street and Fredericksburg Economic Development and Tourism joined forces to host Operation Tulip Drop. A commercial flower grower, Bloomia, donated 350,000 stems of tulips for distribution in downtown Fredericksburg to help spread positivity and cheer within the community. Volunteers distributed tulips from area restaurants and shops that were offering carry-out, as well as from two downtown pick-up locations. Those desiring tulips simply drove up to such locations, rolled down their car window, and received a large bunch to take home at no cost. Volunteers took appropriate safety precautions, wearing gloves and practiced social distancing. It is worth noting that the event was held before the governor of Virginia issued a stay-at-home order.
Our Main Street thrives because volunteers remain at the heart of our organization! They love supporting downtown Fredericksburg, and their passion and excitement made Operation Tulip Drop a huge success, bringing joy to the community during a difficult time. There were many smiles and expressions of gratitude from volunteers and receivers of tulips throughout the day! – Ann Glave, Executive Director, Fredericksburg VA Main Street