National Volunteer Week 2015 – True Superheroes in Our Midst

Posted on April 14, 2015

View Resources

Newsletter 360

"*" indicates required fields

Written by Robin Shapiro and Kat Thomas (with the help of other Event 360 superheroes who contributed ideas for this blog)

In honor of National Volunteer Week 2015 we want to say, “Volunteers, we love you!”  How could we not?  We rely on you to be the hands that direct traffic, the muscles that set up barricades, the brains that calculate donation totals and so much more.  It is easy to appreciate the services that volunteers provide that bring our events to life. What we don’t often recognize though, is how much you give up to be a volunteer.

We live in a world where time is one of our most valuable commodities.   Volunteers are special people who choose to give up their personal time and energy to causes that are bigger than themselves.  Rather than sipping a latte on a relaxing Sunday morning, you choose to stand in our parking lots, cheer on our participants, pick up loads of trash and make yourselves look silly simply for the reward of making someone else’s event experience amazing.  You are living, breathing super heroes, really!

So in honor of all you superheroes in our midst, we bring you a list with which loyal volunteers will identify.

You know you are loyal volunteer when…

  • You raise your hand immediately when you hear, “Is anyone able to help?” before you hear what kind of help is needed!
  • You plan your family vacations around volunteer events.
  • You accept a new job and immediately request days off for your event.
  • You carry your volunteer t-shirt with you in case you are needed in a moment’s notice.
  • You wait by your computer to make sure you are the first to sign up when volunteer registration opens.
  • You leave an event covered in water, mud, or paint and it seems completely normal.

Pros and Cons of Being a Loyal Volunteer:

Pro: You’ve proudly collected and saved each t-shirt from every event you’ve supported.
Con:  You’ve outgrown your dresser space and even after repurposing your extras into clothing and other creative items (skirts, shorts, pillows and quilts), your closet still resembles an event t-shirt booth.

Pro: Event participants express gratitude at seeing your smiling face as you hand them a refreshing cup of water at a hydration stop.
Con:  Your co-workers look at you strangely when in the break room you announce “Eat, drink, pee, there will be no IV.”

Pro: Participants love seeing your creative and flashy outfits at their rest stops.
Con: You have burns on your fingertips from hot gluing decorations to your clothes.

Pro: At the end of an event you might find yourself taking home a full box of sweet and salty granola bars, grahamwiches or a lot of bananas.
Con: Your lunches consist of sweet and salty granola bars and grahamwiches for two weeks. Plus your kids don’t like banana bread.

Pro: You’ve become an extremely early-riser!
Con:  On those rare weekends that you’re not volunteering at an event, you have a hard time sleeping in past 5:00 a.m.

Pro: You are an event expert and answer hundreds of questions from participants and spectators all day long.
Cons: At the end of a long and tiring day, you can’t answer one simple question – where did I leave MY car?

Pro: You make sure participants have a safe route and are skilled at traffic control at busy intersections.
Con: You are tempted to get out of your car at a crowded parking lot to show people how to get thousands of cars to the nearest exit!

Pro: You’ve become accustomed to hugging everyone you meet, regarding them as instant family.
Con:  Not everyone is “a hugger”.

Pro: There’s never a shortage of the emotional surges of inspiration when seeing those for whom you volunteer.
Con: No one understands the high you have for the week after the event; not even your kids.

There are many superheroes in the event world. In fact, the beauty of the work we get to do is that we’re surrounded by all kinds of amazing people. But it’s National Volunteer Week and we wanted to give a special shout out to the superhero volunteers who help make our events happen! Make sure you take a moment to appreciate your volunteers and hit the comments below to tell us how you plan on celebrating National Volunteer Week.

Kat Thomas found her niche at Event 360 in 2010. As the Programs & Participant Support Manager for MuckFest MS she spends most of her time working with volunteers and connecting with the community. 

Robin Shapiro serves as the Manager of Volunteer Operations for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® where she is honored to combine her love of volunteerism and leadership development with endurance events.  Robin currently volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girls on the Run, and the American Youth Literacy Foundation. 

Don’t know where to start?

We can help with that. From conceptualization to planning, production, and fundraising, we're here to make your peer-to-peer fundraising event a success.