April seventh to the 14th is National Volunteer Week in Canada. To celebrate, we sat down with Blaire, Volunteer Program Coordinator, to ask her what makes our volunteers special.
What’s the best part about working with the volunteers?
“Honestly, it’s how enthusiastic the volunteers are to learn! They want to learn and help, and each of them has their own strengths that they bring to their role. Working with them has taught me to be more flexible and to understand that everyone has a different learning style. We teach each other when we work together!”
What do the volunteers bring to Operation Eyesight?
“They’re such a huge part of what we do! They’re the ones who make it possible to thank all our donors. They’re the ones writing all the thank you cards, making thank you phone calls to recent donors, they fold tax receipts and keep our office administration running. So much of our work is made possible by the work they do!”
What’s something unique about our volunteers?
“They’re from all walks of life – we have volunteers who are in high school, university, some of them are new moms, some are on disability, some of them are between jobs, seniors and so on. There is so much diversity among our volunteers, which means we get different perspectives and talents to draw from all the time. And they’re from all over the world, too!
A pleasant surprise is that some of our volunteers have found their own replacements when they leave, mostly for a job. They believe in the work they’re doing, and even though they have to move on to a different stage in their lives, they’ll refer a friend or family member to Operation Eyesight because they want to continue to be involved in some way and enjoyed their experience working on our team.”
What would you like to thank our volunteers for?
“For bringing joy to my work every day! They bring such good energy into the office when they come for their shifts. Even on Monday mornings when I’m still getting over the weekend, they come in cheerfully and brighten my day. They’re always an inspiration! And something I want them to know is that they are employees – they go through the same onboarding, they sign all the same paper work. They may be unpaid in money, but they’re paid in six figures – S-M-I-L-E-S. Not just our smiles here in the office, but in the bright-eyed smiles of the people whose lives are being changed with the gift of sight.”
Our volunteers do so much, and we can’t thank them enough. Happy National Volunteer Week to all volunteers out there – Thank you so much for all that you do!