Grateful Volunteers

“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.”

~William Faulkner

By Paula Heath, Advocate

Right now, you may be thinking that “grateful volunteers” should say instead… “grateful nonprofit organizations.” The truth is that I have been thinking how grateful I am for Teen Feed. And based on the attendance and enthusiasm at the Annual Celebration October 10 at Hillel, I think I’m not alone!

My own volunteer history has included two hospitals, trail repairs and cleanups, big sisters, and for the past 15 months, Teen Feed. And of all the organizations, Teen Feed has made me feel the most valued. So I have looked back to see what they’ve done, that’s touched me personally, in the way of thanks:

• a snail mail card for no reason except to say thank you

• a personal and a general thank you at every meal I attend

• e-mail reminders, reach outs for extra volunteerism at special events relating to teen feed

• warm hugs from the staff

• contagious and unwavering enthusiasm, kindness and positivity

• events just for us, like the Annual Picnic and Annual Celebration

This year was my first Annual Celebration. Smoothly run, thoughtfully assembled, and appropriately modest in presentation. Simple handwritten charts on the walls and table centerpieces that cost nothing but brainpower and staff creativity. Because we were at Hillel, the food had to be kosher and it was delicious, generous, and varied – Leah’s is the greatest! Each speaker was humble, sincere and gracious, and each honoree likewise was modest and happy.

So I’d like to say thank you to Teen Feed for the Annual Celebration – a demonstration of your commitment to your volunteers – and for all the other tangible and intangible ways you make me feel rewarded and a part of something good in exchange for just 2 hours of my time every week.