Friday, April 23, 2010

A Few Words from Wendy during Volunteer Appreciation Week

Writing this is something that I have been procrastinating over for weeks. I knew it was coming – the end of Volunteer Appreciation Week. Kate wrote her post. Sarah wrote her post. I had to write mine.

But first I would organize all shift reports by date. Then I would reorganize them by length of call. Then I would put them in order based on who had the best handwriting … you get the idea. I was stalling. Waiting. Hoping that somehow elves or magic or unicorns would help me out and this post would appear on the blog. Or that Sarah would accept my $10 bribe to write it for me. But it didn’t happen. So, at the eleventh hour, I am sitting at my computer and biting my nails.

You see, it’s not that I don’t appreciate you. It’s because I appreciate you so much that I’m overwhelmed by the responsibility of this post. How can I ever effectively communicate how much I thank you? Respect you? Appreciate you?

I don’t know. But I know my post is due so I’m going to give it my best shot.

You are mothers. Friends. Wives. Brothers.

You are students. Lawyers. Accountants. Teachers.

You care for sick relatives. Organize community groups. Coach children’s sports teams.

You realize that sexual violence is something that touches us all.

And not only do you fill all these roles and accomplish all these goals and recognize this problem … you do something about it.

You each decided that despite your full lives you would make the time. You would make sacrifices. You would take on this work.
Because you want to help someone else. Because you want to be a part of the mission.

And here is what I have learned through working with all of you:
You are doing it.

Each and every day you are helping those who are survivors of sexual violence and contributing to a society where, eventually, sexual violence will no longer exist.

I know that I don’t do a very good job of letting you know how I feel about all of you. I get bogged down in the daily grind of keeping two 24/7 programs running. There are a million different excuses and reasons to not volunteer (trust me – I’ve heard most of them!). But with every e-mail I send or phone call I make, I am always aware that you have chosen, despite all of this, to be an Advocate.

And so I thank you for the time you have given. I respect you for dedicating yourselves to the mission. I appreciate all you have done for survivors.

(Just for the record, I think magical elves would’ve done a better job with this post if only they’d helped out!)

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