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This page is devoted to the management of volunteer programs in health care settings.


~February 2013~

Instill the passion


I called my mom the other day as I was driving to a meeting for one of the community programs that I volunteer for.  While we were talking, she commented that she didn't know how I do all that I do:  keeping up with meetings, work, the kids, grand kids, husband, and time with friends, etc.  I calmly replied that what I was doing was not that special....I was only doing what I had witnessed my mom and dad doing as I was growing up...work, home, church, family, others.

 But this discussion I had with my mom made me ponder.  How do you instill the passion in others?  Research tells us that volunteering is somewhat of a learned behavior.  If children see their parents volunteering, they are more likely to volunteer themselves as adults.  The things that I make time for are important to me.  I am able to share my talents with others and help them grow and develop.  I care about these programs and that makes it worth my time and efforts.  picture of photographer

What about those families where there is no one to pattern the behavior?  How do we reach the volunteers of the future?  Will our country rely on the fact that community service will be dictated by some educational requirement?  Or will we see a swing back to pure volunteerism because people have a sense of passion and caring about what they are doing?  In either case, programs need to be flexible enough to accommodate whatever motivations might be driving volunteers to your organization.

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The author of the Heath Care Volunteer Programs column is Mary Kay Hood MS, Hendricks Regional Health, Danville, IN (317) 745-3556. With a BS degree in biology from Marian College and a Master of Science in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University, Mary Kay has been involved in volunteer management over twenty years with a zoo and in the health care field. During that time, she completed the Management of Volunteer Programs course offered at University of Indianapolis, several supervisory training programs as well as the Indiana Hospital and Health Association’s Management Institute offered by the Executive Education Program, School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. Mary Kay served on the Nonprofit Training Center of United Way from 1993 to 2006. During that time, she taught many workshops also facilitating speaker arrangements for the Basic Volunteer Management series. Additionally, she has presented at various national and international conferences. Mary Kay served as president of the Central Indiana Association for Volunteer Administration (CIAVA) from 1993-1997 and the Indiana Society of Directors of Volunteer Services (ISDVS) from 2006-2008. She was also the recipient of the 1995 Outstanding Director of Volunteer Services Award and the 2002 United Way of Central Indiana Volunteer of the Year Award. Most recently she served on the Steering Committee for COVAA resulting in the formation of a new national membership organization for those in volunteer management, the Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE). With several published articles, she is also author to two books: The One Minute Answer to Volunteer Management Questions and The Volunteer Leader as Change Agent.

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