April is Volunteer Appreciation Month and it should be a breeze to write a blog for a nonprofit that has hundreds of amazing volunteers, right? It should be easy to say “thank you!” for approximately:
- 2,500 hours of phone and texting coverage each month
- 600 hours facilitating SafePlace meetings annually
- 100 hours of yearly special event and outreach help
- 100s of hours of volunteer trainings and continuing education
But it’s not easy – not at all. How can we possibly say “thank you!” enough for:
- Countless hours of heartfelt empathy and the most sincere care
- Years of dedication and devotion to people you’ve never met and never will
- Untold buckets of tears and heartaches shared
Samaritans is always grateful for our volunteers who have enabled us to answer calls for 46 years and for those who have shared their most heartbreaking experience of a loss to suicide in an effort to support others. For those who have run marathons, formed 5K teams, hosted tables at the Breakfast for Hope, created their own HopeRaiser events, donated their talents and treasures, we are fortunate and we are deeply grateful.
Now more than ever, as we all grapple with challenges of this uncertain time, we appreciate our volunteers. Along with many hours of coverage, you have also learned new technical skills in order to help from home. You have adjusted your hours to meet the increased demand or newly created virtual programming demands. And you have accepted new processes needed for our current situation. You listen, you care, and you support the most vulnerable among us at an incredibly difficult time.
We often use the phrase “there are no words” when we’re struggling to find the ones that will convey deeply felt sentiments. That’s where I am right now – at a loss to find the right words. So, I go back to simplest and try again. Thank you volunteers, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Kathleen C. Marchi