Happy International Volunteer Managers Day – Day 5

We have been celebrating volunteer managers from all over the world by sharing their stories of success from this year. We received so many amazing stories that we had to spread our celebration out over a whole week! We are so thankful to be a part of celebrating your accomplishments.

If you haven’t had the chance to see the other stories we’ve shared throughout our week of celebration, you can find these using the links below:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

To close out our celebration, we’ll be sharing stories from volunteer managers that have done everything they could to continue serving their volunteers, their organizations, and their communities. We can all agree that it has been a tough year, but these volunteer managers have pushed through hardship to better their world in any way they could. They did not let the challenges of this year hold them back. Instead, they continued to provide services to their communities and improved and expanded their volunteer programs.

Please show your appreciation and enjoy their stories!

We started the Volunteer Program in August at Kershaw Humane. I started with KCHS in July after completing 4 months of Chemotherapy. The Shelter has enabled me to work remotely from my home.

Using the Volgistics Program we have grown this program in 3 months to 75 Active Volunteers with over 100 hours of service so far. We have also using Volgistics created a program with the Technical High School in our community. We have two levels and one is an actual Internship.

Without this program I could not easily send emails, acknowledge Birthdays and track valuable hours. All of this data helps us in our search for Grants.

I am very proud of what has been accomplished is a short period of time and I am more than grateful to be able to be a viable part as I fight Breast Cancer.

– Libba U., Kershaw County Humane Society

We have created a silver lining during the pandemic by transitioning with the stay-at-home orders. We are meeting partner needs by sending out a weekly Financial empowerment email, our staff is lending expertise to local nonprofits by sitting on Boards and advisory councils. We have hosted a drive-thru backpack event and looking forward to a grab and go Thanksgiving giveaway as well.

– Latrice M., Kinecta Federal Credit Union

Volgistics helped me manage my volunteer program! Since Covid-19 I have began using Self-Scheduling and it’s been amazing. All my volunteers can schedule themselves with ease, on their own time, which saves me lots of time to put elsewhere in the program. Thanks Volgistics!

– Elli K., Maclean-Cameron Animal Adoption Center

When I took this job almost two years ago, it was to be on a limited, part time basis while someone was on maternity leave. I had worked here almost twenty years ago and had such fond memories, I felt like the luckiest person that they would allow me to come back, even if temporary.

However, as fate would have it, I stayed full time and here I am. In the time here, I have met the most dedicated, passionate people who now only give their time, but their skills and whole heart into our mission. I may be a bit old school” with how I manage things but I take the time to get to know everyone, in an effort in placing them with specific tasks.

This pandemic has changed a lot of how we do things, but one thing that stays the same…dedication. I feel we will always succeed because of our amazing volunteers who make me proud every day and glad to be part of the team again.

– Meghan G., Pennsylvania SPCA

In February, everything got turned upside down for us with Covid, but it forced us to finish several ideas and projects we had in the works for a while now. Including online orientations and training videos for different tasks. Now we’re able to have volunteers learn how to do things like laundry, bagging pet food, and even walking beginner dogs while still social distancing!

– Dani W., Allen County SPCA

This year, since Covid-19 has shut our volunteer program down drastically I have become a Volgistic Software user, using this time to enter over 200 volunteers and learn the software. So excited for volunteering to resume.

– JoAnn Z., Carroll Lutheran Village Inc.

SOAR365 is very proud to announce that it has been certified as a Service Enterprise by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. Achieving Service Enterprise certification is a prestigious accomplishment and SOAR365 joins the top 11% of organizations nationwide that have successfully demonstrated the capability and management expertise to strategically leverage volunteers in order to improve performance and mission delivery.

SOAR365 President & CEO John Walker says, “Being Best-in-Class in volunteer engagement is one of our 10 key Strategic Initiatives at SOAR365. We cannot accomplish our bold goals for the future without the help of all types of volunteers throughout our organization. Our experience in pursuing and ultimately achieving certification as a Service Enterprise has taught us how to become a great volunteer engagement organization. This experience will change our organization for years to come and will ultimately help us better serve thousands of individuals with disabilities and their families in central Virginia.”

Regional Points of Light representative Katie Campbell states, “SOAR365 set the bar high and achieved it!”

– Alison J., SOAR365

We continued to provide volunteer service during a global pandemic.

– Jennifer M., Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Throughout the year we have experienced so many changes that were not anticipated. The volunteer staff has been incredible with assisting and adjusting with all the changes. Several volunteer staff that were able to safely assist in our greatest times showing up virtually and in person ready to assist. This allowed for other volunteers to stay home until they feel safe. Our operations have been greatly affected however our volunteers have remained amazing through it all!!

– Kathy C., Lee County Parks & Recreation

Despite a difficult year with many challenges, my teammate, Meghann Smits and I, continue recruit volunteers. Our volunteer program continues to thrive and grown. Our programs continue to move with the help our of amazing volunteers. We are able to serve our neighbors in need with our food pantry, health clinic and shelter. We hope everyone stays safe and healthy!

– Suzanne R., Urban Ministries of Wake County

This year has been a challenging time for the whole world. I am fortunate our Museum President and CEO understands the value of volunteers and was able to retain Volunteer Office Staff on the payroll continuously through the closure.

This time gave us an opportunity to learn the technology that enables us to offer remote learning and continue to offer speakers bureau virtually to our community and have added other state requests.

When the museum reopened, volunteers were not -and still not – allowed to physically return to their duties. We collaborated with our IT Department to offer ‘virtual volunteer stations’ in our galleries that enables volunteers to welcome and converse with our visitors while keeping them home safe. Volunteers are enjoying this new concept and feel a part of our museum community again.

– Carol T., The Museum of Flight

Our team at Casa de Salud has pulled together during such a difficult time and has gone above and beyond, serving our patients with compassion and love.

We congratulate Melissa, our Volunteer Coordinator for her exemplary leadership and dedication to our mission. It’s also her 1st year anniversary with us! Thank you for being an amazing volunteer coordinator!

– Kevin G., Casa de Salud

Having a successful volunteer program in 2020, especially in the healthcare industry, has been all about change and creativity. We have faced many challenges this year, but our volunteers still continue to amaze me! We have had to navigate these uncharted waters carefully, and sometimes make daily changes.

There was a period of time that we had to suspend our volunteer program; however, we have now temporarily revamped our program to ensure that our volunteers are safe, but are still allowed to volunteer.

It’s a daily struggle, but I am so proud of how well our volunteers have adapted to change! They are simply the best, and despite a global pandemic, they have shown how truly dedicated they are as they continue to serve our patients, staff, and guests on a daily basis!

– Tina B., Norhtern Regional Hospital

Collier County has five museums in our system. We were closed due to Covid-19 from 3/28/2020 – 6/5/2020. We were able to continue to have high school students complete Bright Futures volunteer hours and also continue to have college students complete Service Learning Hours with CDC guidelines in place during our closure, as well as our re-opening.

We actually had an uptick of volunteers and volunteer hours as we were one of a very small number of organizations in Collier County accepting volunteers and allowing volunteers to return to serve and to complete their volunteer hours. We hosted 19 FGCU college students at two museum locations for Making a Difference Service Cleanup Day on 10/24/2020 and 20 FGCU students at three museum locations for the Week of Welcome Service Cleanup Day on 8/29/2020.

We are happy to report that many of our year round volunteers as well as some of our seasonal volunteers have returned to volunteering with CDC guidelines in place. Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers for making these unknown times such a volunteer success story!

– Karen C., Collier County Museums

OHSU values the contribution that volunteers offer to our patients and families. This year, like most organizations, our volunteer program looks different; however, even in the midst of unprecedented times, our community still came together to come up with creative solutions.

Despite the restrictions, volunteers readily offered their time and service. For this reason, we were able to create new programs that assisted our hospital in various ways, as well as modified programs that continued to operate virtually.

– Desza D., Oregon Health and Science University

Our volunteers are the greatest. They stayed fully engaged with us throughout our shut down. We spoke 2x a week through updates and started a weekly zoom social hour.

Volunteers stepped in to help from home where there were needs and were so flexible when we started to slowly re-open. I believe that the communication and transparency of what was going on has kept them engaged and built our relationships to be even stronger than before the pandemic. This was our silver lining!

– Karen S., Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester

We have held eight digital literacy courses with a community partner to teach seniors how to access and join Zoom meetings, so that they could continue volunteering in a virtual capacity. We have taught more than forty participants so far, and hope to expand the program before the end of the year.

– Megan M., Kansas City Public Library

Our Long Term Care Facility was hit hard by Covid-19. During the outbreak all staff were redeployed to help with care for the residents. It was a very hard time seeing people so sick and sadly also dying. Having to tell volunteers about their death was very hard. There was sometimes the perspective in the community that staff did not do all they could to keep the residents safe. This of course was not the case. It has been hard knowing you did everything you could but this virus is very clever.

I am now creating volunteer roles that exist outside the Long Term Care building. Making masks, a social calling program and friendly visits to our retirement living community. This group, who are independantly living but may no longer be so independant, are really having a hard time. They are more isolated now and often afraid to go out for groceries. We are still bringing in around 15 new volunteers each month and finding jobs for our ongoing volunteers. Everyone is ready for this to end.

– Ruth-Ellen J., Northwood Care

In May we furloughed all of our volunteers due to Covid, however they remained eager to continue to support PAWS in any way they could under the circumstances.

As an essential business our animal shelter continued operating and many of the volunteers stepped up to make fabric masks for our animal care staff when masks were in short supply. They also worked from home on projects to create enrichment for the animals, and many switched their support from in person volunteering to financial as they were able.

As soon as our state started issuing guidelines to re-open in phases we started inviting volunteers to return in limited numbers. To date many are still furloughed, however they continue to stick by our organization and provide support in any way they can.

– Tracey R., PAWS – Progressive Animal Welfare Society

Although our volunteer program had taken a break at the beginning of the pandemic, we were able to resume some of our volunteer positions later on in the summer. Positions that were primarily outside and allowed volunteers to work on their own such as animal care at our Nature Center and at our education centers demonstration farm, facilities and grounds keeping and our Garden for Good. Virtual positions continued as normal such as our fundraising, marketing and E-Newsletter editors.

Things looked and felt different but we found that people really wanted to help in any way possible, and for that we are humbly grateful.

– Erin O., Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut

Despite COVID, our youth volunteers have created and carried out a successful digital engagement for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Education department by creating virtual Quests. They are volunteering with us this fall to create digital assets to support our education team and enhance our virtual programs.

We continue to engage and have our adult volunteers work on projects, partake in virtual lectures, and give presentations to each other to keep our knowledge fresh and ready for when we return to our physical worksite.

I’m so proud of what our volunteers have been doing despite COVID and the challenges it has presented us with.

– Jennifer K., Wildlife Conservation Society, New York Aquarium

What an amazing time it has been celebrating volunteer managers and their accomplishments this year. Here at Volgistics, these stories have brought us joy, hope, and encouragement, and we hope that this is true for all of you as well.

We want to thank all the volunteer managers that shared their stories, and we also want to thank all of you that joined us over the last week to celebrate their stories!

May the remainder of your 2020 be blessed! Be well!