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Volunteer Recognition at its best

2013 February 20



What does HandsOn Suburban Chicago have in common with the Presidential Citizen’s Medal?

Both are working to promote volunteerism and acknowledge influential community members through volunteer recognition. (We were also both established in 1969).

On February 15th, the Presidential Citizen’s Medal was awarded Harris Wofford, champion for national service and volunteerism. The award is the second highest civilian honor. Wofford, at 86, is a deserving recipient as a champion for volunteerism:

“No other American has done more to advance the cause of citizen service than Harris Wofford,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). “From launching the Peace Corps to crafting legislation that expands national service opportunities through AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, Harris has inspired countless Americans to pursue their own path public service and make a difference in the lives of others. To this day, he continues to bring energy and passion to the cause of national service, and we and the nation are much better off for it.”

Not everyone gets the national recognition of this special award. In fact, many volunteers go unrecognized at all. It is under-appreciated part of the volunteer process that often gets set aside.

Your program isn’t finished until the volunteers are recognized.

Because we work with so many volunteers, we’ve gotten creative with volunteer recognition.

1. Say thank you in public: Some of our volunteers receive elevated status in the community or at work due to their efforts. Recognizing them, or simply thanking them, at a public event is a simple way to recognize volunteers, and goes a long way.

2. Gifts and cards: A thank-you card is another way to show appreciation. It is easy to do, and goes a long way.

3. Awards Ceremony: Not everyone has the time and resources for an awards ceremony. But an annual awards event is often an ideal setting for volunteer recognition. Volunteers and program staff can reunite in a non-work setting and enjoy themselves.

That is why HandsOn Suburban Chicago hosts an annual Impact Awards ceremony to honor committed volunteers in our communities.

Volunteer Recognition is not just an addendum. It is part of the volunteer process. A volunteer project is not complete until volunteers are recognized and thanked for all their work. However, it can be a lot of work. That’s why HandsOn Suburban Chicago tries to make things easier for nonprofits by helping you recognize your volunteers at our annual Impact Awards ceremony. Why not let us handle it for you?

If you know a volunteer champion who is worthy of an Impact Award, nominate them on our website or get in touch with us by email.

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