Extra, extra, read all about it!

This just in- the VMCs have about 13 days left of the service year and something big has happened! Last Friday marked an important milestone of the VMC year- submission of the first draft of the final report. This report is a summary of an immense amount of work: stories of service, volunteer program statistics, sustainability plans, and descriptions of various levels of leadership development. Completing and submitting this thorough document is no simple feat, so kudos to the VMCs for getting it done!

I distinctly remember being a bit overwhelmed with the task of summarizing my VMC year in just one document. Not only did the year go by quickly, but there was no way I could easily describe such a dynamic experience. Throughout my VMC year, I grew so much professionally and personally from the work I dedicated to the volunteer programs at my site. There were times when I felt frustrated and stuck, but there were also times of pure joy and pride as I played a role in providing services that affected my local community. Throughout my preparation for and training of volunteers, I overcame my fears of public speaking and networking, learned all about new topics (such as emergency preparedness), met neighbors who were passionate about being more involved, and was supported by an amazing team of service leaders at my site and Volunteer Maryland. All in all, it was a life-changing year and a great introduction to my work as a Regional Coordinator and future endeavors.

I am looking forward to reading the current VMCs’ final reports and seeing how their experience went. Although I will get a glimpse of some of their impressions through their reports, I asked my region of VMCs to share with me a thought or two about a memory regarding their year. Here are some of their remarks; as you can see, a VMC year definitely sparks some interesting lessons and experiences. 🙂

Michel: I’ve learned that volunteer management is a lot like the life of a turtle.  Each small step makes a lot of progress.

Joanna: One of the best moments for me was hearing one of my volunteers walk away and say “Why Can’t I do this every day?” This reassured me that I must be doing something right!

Jenny: One of the best memories I have is the Baltimore Medical System’s Container Garden planting. It was great how our team came out to support this volunteer opportunity and work with my other volunteers. We were able to complete a project in one day which was scheduled for three days. Go G-Team and our fearless leader!

Dan: I drink a lot of tea.  So much so that it pained one of my gung-ho volunteers to see me throwing away the tea leaves each day.  He brought in two old peanut butter jars and told me to start saving them for his compost pile.  His dedication to reducing waste inspired me to start my own compost pile, despite the inconvenience of having to hide it in a patch of trees a few minutes from my apartment.  Though I never told him about this, I know he’d be proud of me.


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