If you live in the Boys and Girls Club world, April brings more than spring showers, it delivers a big reminder to acknowledge and be grateful for the thousands of hours of time BGC’s more than 1,500 volunteers give us annually! Surprised? Well, volunteerism is yet another activity/measure where we – BGC – buck trends and commonly held beliefs. You don’t have to look far to find headlines and statements indicating that volunteerism is down, and further, that youth engagement in volunteering is a declining trend.
Meanwhile, our volunteer numbers grow. That is in part because we have strategically planned to take advantage of the interest people have in taking a “hands on approach” to being involved in community. By doing that, we’ve literally pulled a “Huckleberry Finn”, and managed to have our painting, garden prep, camp trail clearing and cabin roof moss removal taken care of by hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers (of course, that’s great for our bottom line as well)! We also know, though, that it is the sense of belonging the volunteers experience that is not only irresistible but infectious, meaning that once you’ve been involved, you come back, and often bring a friend.
So, as April rolls along, I hope you’ll take a moment to recognize and celebrate the thousands of people that act on the desire to help community and lend a hand where it’s needed. We’ll be celebrating them all month long, and for the rest of the year too. If this post has peaked your curiosity, give me a call as I’m sure we have some paint brushes with your name on them!