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FEDERAL GOVERNMENT VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS

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

~January 2014~

cartoon of government buildings

REFLECTIONS: WHAT'S IT LIKE ON THE OTHER SIDE?

I do a lot of reflecting this time of year. I always want to make improvements for home, for work, for me.  I create a long list when it should just be a short list of general things.  But with a Type A personality, I’ll keep adding to the list no matter what.

One of the things that I enjoyed this holiday season was the abundance of donations coming in to my organization for our patients.  An overwhelming amount of holiday cards – between 4,000 and 5,000 to be exact – were distributed to many patients.  Our department processed thousands and thousands of dollars worth of donations that up until December 31st we still received more generosity from the community.

During one donation drop off, my staff and I stood outside (freezing cold temperatures the Friday before Christmas) and were in awe of what we saw.  There were so many amazing donations from laptops to new sheets to clothing to toys for families in need.  My staff stood there as wrapped presents poured out of five SUVs.  We were asking “I wonder what it’s like on the other side?”

So this question got me really thinking: What is it like being on the other side of the work that we do?  What is it like to be the recipient of all of our hard work to make a difference in the lives of others?  blue sign reflections

We never really get to see days, weeks, and months of work for an event or activity reflected.  We focus on the event and activity running smoothly that we forget to relish in the moment of seeing the smiles and faces of those we help. 

I stop to think that even when I grab my coffee in the morning that I don’t really look into the eyes of the person handing me my medium French Vanilla Dunkin Donuts coffee.  We move so fast that we perhaps are processing people like our volunteer applications --- fast and furious. 

So, the one thing on my list this year is to take more time in seeing the work that we do versus just hearing about it from other sources. Cherish the moments of your hard work and take credit for what you continue to do. 
Cheers to another year well done.  And Happy New Year to a grand 2014.




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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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ASSOCIATION FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT VOLUNTEER MANAGERS SEEKS MEMBERS

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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