Appreciating Our Volunteers
Happy Thanksgiving from everyone on the Winrock Farmer-to-Farmer team! Selyna Buie, a F2F recruiter, shares her thoughts below on why volunteering is so important during these uncertain times and her thoughts on the holiday
My journey as a Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer recruiter with Winrock began about four years ago. I had discovered a knack and affinity for this kind of work when I ran a volunteer program for a veteran service organization. Essentially, my job is bridging the gap between highly qualified individuals and opportunities for them to use these skills to give back. The more I did the work the more joy it brought me. I often think about the altruism that so heavily influences a person to serve in a volunteer capacity. I think about how grateful both the beneficiaries and the volunteers are to have such a fulfilling exchange and I’m happy that I am able to help facilitate this exchange.
With the world being in such an uncertain state, I think it has become easier to forget about volunteering, with so many priorities taking up most of our time. Everyone is understandably preoccupied. However, with the holiday seasons approaching, I wanted to encourage us all to remember the importance of volunteerism. Remember why it’s so important to give back and think about the benefits that come from these experiences. In my line of work, feedback has become increasingly important. It’s essential that I understand what does and doesn’t work within our volunteer program, which has moved mostly to virtual spaces. The most resounding feedback that I often receive are the sentiments of both excitement and fulfillment that is brought about when a volunteer donates their time and skills to help others.
As an advocate of volunteerism I thought it might be helpful to share some tips on how to get involved if you’re interested in volunteer opportunities — and how to reignite your passion for volunteerism if you’ve gotten out of the habit and feel a bit rusty.
Ways to give back:
Virtual volunteer opportunities: COVID-19 has created a unique opportunity for virtual/remote opportunities using modern technological practices. Check out Winrock International virtual volunteer assignments here Winrock International » Volunteer
Join a board: Many non-profit organizations need member to help guide the direction of their institution and fundraise. This can be a great opportunity to elevate a budding organization and can also provide robust networking opportunities.
Volunteer abroad: Maybe you’ve done great work in your own back yard and now you want to explore how your skills can support developing countries abroad. Look no further, because Winrock offers the best international volunteer experiences. Our assignments have been paused due to COVID-19 restrictions but there will be opportunities like these in the future.
Share volunteer opportunities: If you are unable to volunteer ,that’s OK! Just remember that lending a helping hand comes in many different forms. The best way to support could be simple sharing of information about volunteer opportunities within your network.
Volunteerism is a way to practice thankfulness for all one has been given and share those gifts — whether it is your skills or your time — with others. This year, I am thankful for the people I get to work with and their generosity. It’s awe inspiring and I couldn’t see myself doing anything different at this point in my life.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving, even if it looks a bit different this year.