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

~February 2014~

cartoon of government buildings


I’m looking out my window and hoping for warmer weather.  In this case, warmer weather is anything above 30-degrees.  My car showed me “2-degrees” the other morning and I didn’t know how to react.  But as we endure some more bitter temperatures and unbearable temperatures, I still think about the upcoming months and how much planning is always going on.

We have an annual fundraiser in March, which is planned, by one of our committees.  April is National Volunteer Week.  We determined our theme in December and will start working on our invitations in a few weeks.  We’ll process our high school applications in May and see who is mature enough to volunteer in our hospital.  June will be a wild month placing our high school students and preparing for a huge event this August. 

It seems like our planning never ends.  As soon as one event is over, we’re planning for the next one.  But we must not forget about everything that goes on in between our events.  We have our regular volunteer administration tasks from recruitment to interviewing to orienting to placing to retaining to recognizing.  And how little people think we do!

On the days that were heavy snow and caused a delay in my commute to work, I used train delays and days home as down time to think about what needs to get done.  There are always lists and more lists and more lists. There’s never enough time to plan exactly how you want things to go. I make sure that when the opportunity presents itself that I jump on it immediately.

But when do we stop thinking?  Do we ever stop thinking? I start feeling guilty when I’m not thinking about what is next to do.  Then, I say to myself that someone else is probably not even worried about things so why should I? 

I think it’s because of who we are and the many roles we play and the many hats we wear.  I admit that I don’t know how to slow down because if I do, something will catch up to me and I won’t be prepared.  four cartoon figures


Well, the groundhog said it’s going to be another 6 weeks of winter.  I think during more snow and more frigid temperatures, I’ll delight myself in knowing that I can continue planning and drive myself crazy or just enjoy what Mother Nature is giving us – time to slow down and not always plan.  We can’t control the craziness of the weather…so I need to enjoy it?


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*The author of the Federal Government Volunteer Programs page is Melissa Heinlein-Storti , 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 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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