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This page is devoted to the management of volunteer programs at the federal government level.

~ March 2012~


Each year, there are many of us who (admit or not) watch the Oscars and/or the Grammys.  I’ll admit that I’m guilty of watching the glitz and glamour, but I don’t stay up the entire time watching Hollywood give kudos to each other.  With this said, my Monday morning train ride and my medium Dunkin Donuts coffee started to get me thinking.

I think the Oscar should go to . . .

oscar statue

  • The volunteer who sings softly to the newborn baby who is in the NICU while his mother sleeps (best singer).
  • The volunteer who teaches a nursing home resident to speak Italian (best director).
  • The volunteer who dresses up as a clown to provide comfort to children on the pediatric unit (best costume).
  • The volunteer who listens attentively and without judgment to the patient who is telling his last story on the hospice unit (best supporting actor).
  • The volunteer who continuously smiles as a greeter at the entrance of a hospital.  Meanwhile he is struggling behind that smile to pay his bills but volunteers because it is the right thing to do for his community (best actor).

The volunteer who politely requests others to be quiet while walking through hospital halls because patients need their rest (sound editing).

All of the volunteers who give their time, their talent, their energy, their love, and their hope to the many nonprofit organizations throughout our country and abroad. 

As we approach National Volunteer Recognition Week in April 2012…remember who your winners are for your organization.  They are the ones who deserve the endless praise.

*The author of the Federal Government Volunteer Programs page is melissa.heinlein@va.gov, MA, MS, CAVS. Melissa Heinlein-Storti is the Chief, Voluntary Service at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, (215) 823-5868. Before venturing to the nonprofit sector, Melissa Heinlein spent time working for financial, IT, and pharmaceutical companies. With her business and marketing background, she took those skills and worked for Junior Achievement and structured a formal volunteer program at Hope Springs Equestrian Therapy before going into healthcare at Abington Memorial Hospital as the Assistant Director of Volunteer Resources. Her latest adventure is Chief, Voluntary Service at Philadelphia VA Medical Center. Melissa is past president and member of the Delaware Valley of Association for Volunteer Administration.  She is a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Directors of Volunteers in Healthcare, Inc. and held positions as education chair (state and local), vice-president (state), and member-at-large).  She holds a MA in Communications from West Chester University, MS in Administration of Human Services from Chestnut Hill College, and is a certified administrator of volunteer services through AHVRP. She is currently a doctoral candidate with her PhD in Human Development at Marywood University. She also contributed to the first textbook on volunteer administration.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, writing, sports, and exploring the outdoors. She prides herself when she talks about interacting with volunteers 5-99 years old – horses and dogs included.

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The National Association of Volunteer Programs in Local Government (NAVPLG) is an association of administrators, coordinators and directors of volunteer programs in local government. Its purpose is to strengthen volunteer programs in local government through leadership, advocacy, networking and information exchange. NAVPLG is an affiliate of the National Association of Counties and is seeking affiliate status with the National League of Cities. Cost is $20 for individuals and $75 for group local government membership. An affiliate membership is $25 and is intended for those who are not local government members but may have an interest in the group. There is a quarterly newsletter, national network, and access to NACo's Volunteerism Project. For more information contact Robin Popik, who is a Volunteer Resource Supervisor. She can be reached by phone at 972-941-7114. Be sure to mention you read about this in Volunteer Today.

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