Thursday, October 10 the newest class of Volunteer Maryland coordinators hit the ground with expectations and aspirations of taking action at their Service Sites. The Volunteer Maryland Coordinators engines were revved up, purring ready to go. After two weeks of intensive training, each Volunteer Maryland Coordinator eased through the doors of their Service Site with confidence, feeling ready for the task that lay ahead. As often happens, the Volunteer Maryland Coordinators enter a hectic environment, where their arrival has been eagerly anticipated. The rubber is hitting the roads all across our Service Sites, and one of my Volunteer Maryland Coordinators described his site to me like this, “As I listen to the rain pitter- patter on the roof, just staring at the myriad of files on my Service Site’s Google Drive page, I am feeling guilty for not being able to catch up on everything that was going on.” This is where their two weeks of training begin to pay off. Working through the cycle of volunteer program development, to fill immediate needs along with long term volunteer positions is a huge part of the Volunteer Maryland Coordinator’s role. This is where I come in, to help them see small victories and progress during this 11 month challenge.
Each journey begins with a single step, or in this case, recruiting your first volunteer. And the first steps of this journey may prove more difficult than first imagined. Training may seem a distance memory, and the hard to fill volunteer opportunity will prove to be a uphill run. But there is always help. This year Volunteer Maryland, Class 26 will embark on an amazing journey. They will be faced with challenges, and may not know which way to go. There will be ups and downs, but they have 26 travelers along for the ride. Each will take a different path that will lead to the other side, and they will use each other as sounding boards, confidants and cheer leaders. It is good to know that this journey comes with help and a friend, and as one of their Peer Leaders, I am right there with them. We are ready. So let’s begin, VM26. It is time to launch.