Pandemic. It’s a worrisome time and we, leaders of volunteers worry. A lot. Like mother hens, we cluck about, gathering masses under our protective wings. “I got you,” we murmur, pulling everyone close.
We worry about the frail volunteers who are determined to keep volunteering but may become infected with the virus. We worry about the volunteers who stay home and are missing that one, bright, social spot in their lives as they hunker down, alone. We worry about the clients we serve and how they are deprived of that perfect moment, when our skilled volunteer makes a connection, soul on soul.
We worry we aren’t doing enough, or we’re overlooking a volunteer who needs us. We worry that things will never be the same again, and our volunteers will leave over new regulations. We worry that volunteers may experience a new normal and be reluctant to work directly with clients. We worry that no one will come to the next training class. (although I always worried about that, anyway)
I’m not going to say, “stop worrying.” Worrying is human. It’s the tough part of being a caring, sentient being. It’s part of a volunteer manager’s drive to be effective.
But I will offer this: Your worry means you care. Your worry means you are determined to make this world a better place, one volunteer, one client, one program, one training, one speech on volunteer value, one long night of blowing up balloons, one showing up at a volunteer’s swearing in as a new citizen at a time.
You believe in possibilities. You believe in light. You believe in neighbors stepping up to help neighbors. You believe in people wanting to help. You might even believe that some good will come out of this and volunteering will increase. You are optimistic.
You’re the very essence of what being human is about. So be human and care about the world. We, volunteer managers are resilient. We adapt, we adjust, we pivot, we overcome. We are always moving, and altering our direction to keep going forward. Our worries are often a map to finding the way. We’ll be all right.
Believe in your abilities and take care of yourself. We need you.