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Brought in a speaker the other day and she was wowed by the turnout. She was impressed with the number of volunteers who would show up at the busiest time of the year to hear an educational piece. I was so proud of the volunteers that came, and as I looked around the room, I was reminded that each and every one of these folks who found the time to learn and improve themselves were conscientious, hard-working volunteers. While I know that instinctively, it’s also nice to be reminded, to see their faces, get warmed by their smiles and well wishes. Volunteer management is hard, hard work on a good day, but on a good day, the rewards and justifications are great. These are wonderful people, people you want as neighbors, citizens, friends and these are the people, that God forbid, if you need something, you would want them to be the ones to help.

They are humble to a fault, unassuming; kindness rolls through their veins. For much reward, much is required and all the work we do day in and day out, although the fruits of our labor may not be splashy or eye popping, the fruits are strong and enduring. I wouldn’t trade that for a quick “hey that was mind blowing” any day. Volunteer managers will probably never make the news (unless one of us does something really crazy) or get some prominent award, but we have put down secure roots and as we stand back and look at the majesty and strength of the forest, we rejoice in the lasting legacy.

Happy Holidays to you and yours and be proud of the great work you are doing.