National Volunteer Week, April 6 – 12, is designated to recognize those who really want the least recognition. Volunteers are notorious for working behind the scenes, doing whatever is asked of them. They come at a moment’s notice – when a pipe freezes and office files need to be moved to dry ground – and never blink an eye. But when others try to publicly thank them, they run for the hills.
Volunteers volunteer because they believe in the missions of the agencies they serve. They know the importance of their work because they are painfully aware of the shoestring budgets on which these agencies operate. But mostly, volunteers volunteer because they have hearts the size of small countries and simply can’t imagine not being part of this giving culture.
Each year, Door County recognizes some of the incredible volunteers of our area at the Golden Heart Volunteer Celebration, and each year I find myself reading nominations that appear to be more like resumes of Fortune 500 CEOs. These people rarely volunteer for one organization; instead, you’ll find them working events, stuffing envelopes, ushering patrons or repairing structures for numerous groups. And yet they’ll tell you, “I really don’t do that much.” Right…not that much.
This is why it is so important for us to have the opportunity to celebrate volunteers and the work they do. It’s the one time we get the opportunity to hear their stories and find out what motivates them to be part of something greater than themselves. It gives us a chance to reflect upon our own being and think about ways we can help and be part of the solution to the needs of our communities. It gives us a chance to honor those who serve in the background, yet are the foundations of the work we do. I can’t think of anything more important than having the chance, if only for one night, to stand in applause for the volunteers of Door County.
So, to all of those that we will officially honor at this year’s Golden Heart Volunteer Celebration and for all of those volunteers working behind the scenes, thank you for opening your hearts to the agencies, churches, schools and organizations that make Door County the place we love. This week we celebrate you!
The Golden Heart Volunteer Celebration will be held on Thursday, April 24, starting at 5 pm at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay. A list of this year’s honorees is available at VolunteerDoorCounty.com. Tickets are available in advance for $35 by calling 920.746.7704.