Often I sit down to write and the words pour out in a flurry of clacking keys, my fingers barely keeping up with everything I’d like to say. Inspired by a morning hippotherapy session, or profound progress in adaptive riding, I begin to compose sentences before even sitting down at my desk. But there are also days where my creativity can’t live up to the subject at hand, and I sit in front of a blank screen hoping for my muse to mosey by.
NCEFT is built upon the strength of volunteers and despite no fewer than four attempts at writing a thank you note, I couldn’t hit on a point of view that did justice to the people who make our job possible. I first tried to describe their otherworldly flexibility; a willingness to accept inclement weather, last minute requests, and a schedule that can only be described as dynamic. However, “tractability” is hardly our volunteers’ most admirable trait, and focusing on that alone discounts many other noteworthy qualities.
My next idea was inspired by a Buddhist concept called “mudita,” the idea of unselfish joy. While NCEFT has yet to tout itself as a Buddhist retreat, there are countless examples of mudita at work within our gates. We sometimes talk about the sacrifices volunteers make, about their selflessness and capacity for giving. What we give less recognition to is their ability to experience vicarious happiness. They give of themselves not to be rewarded directly, but to find reward in the happiness they give to others. As I tried to flesh out this perspective I found myself frustrated. How do I get across the degree to which our volunteers give; of their time, their energy, their love. Exclamation points, all caps, and italics can only go so far towards infusing written words with the emotion behind them. OUR VOLUNTEERS ARE IRREPLACABLE!!!
So, thank you. We can’t begin to list all the qualities that make volunteers so special, but we can express our deepest gratitude for bringing those qualities to our organization. With your help we touch the lives of countless children and adults. There may only be a single week dedicated to volunteers, but know that every minute you spend with us is a minute in which you are appreciated.