National Volunteer Week: Associations Say Thanks During a Strange Time

Groups big and small are giving their volunteers a big shoutout this week in honor of National Volunteer Week, with many crediting those volunteers for helping even when stuck at home.

In a lot of ways, the important work that volunteers do never stops when it comes to associations. Whether those volunteers are board members, advocates working in their free time, or those who help out at events, their services keep associations running.

And that remains the case when a viral outbreak puts the world in a topsy-turvy state. With that in mind, here are just a few of the associations honoring their volunteers during this year’s National Volunteer Week:

School Nutrition Association. Schools around the country don’t have students going to them, but the nutrition part of the School Nutrition Association’s mission remains essential as its members navigate COVID-19. In a message to its volunteers, SNA President Gay Anderson praised the volunteers: “Whether during normal times or the current times we are in, you guys are the heart and soul of our association, and we so appreciate your volunteerism.”

American Farm Bureau Federation. In a statement on its website, the federation’s senior director of member engagement, Robin E. Kinney, noted that its volunteers work year-round, “giving unconditionally of their time and commitment and using their talents to enrich the lives of others.” However, she emphasized that the group’s volunteers have picked up the pace even more in recent weeks. “In the face of the historic coronavirus pandemic, these volunteers continue meeting the needs of others in new ways as they repurpose food, sew masks, and organize appreciation events while continuing to fulfill roles they volunteered for when life was moving at its ‘normal’ hectic pace,” she said.

National Glass Association. “During these times, so much of the news is negative that we thought we would share something positive,” said NGA Chair Chris Bole in a video highlighting the group’s volunteers, including those who serve on committees. “We could not operate without your efforts and without your expertise,” he added.

ALS Association. In a video created for National Volunteer Week, the ALS Association gathered its board members to discuss the ways that the disease has affected them and their loved ones and why that encourages them to volunteer. “Each of them were inspired by personal connections to ALS and are committed to do whatever it takes to continue our momentum in the fight—especially during a global pandemic,” the association states on its website.

Humane Society of the United States. With more than 2,000 active volunteers in its organization and upward of 90,000 volunteer hours last year, the Humane Society noted that its volunteers are assisting with efforts such as checking in on animal sanctuaries and keeping an eye on wildlife markets even during the COVID-19 crisis. “During the coronavirus pandemic, despite their own personal and professional challenges, they are stepping up to help us at a time when we need their help the most, with more dedication and determination than ever before,” said president and CEO, Kitty Block, in a blog post.

(FoxysGraphic/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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