Since early April, when the full realization of the impact of COVID-19 began to take hold, I’ve received many requests from associations representing the non-profit sector and volunteer administrators to complete surveys. They want to learn how the pandemic has affected Threads of Life’s ability to engage volunteers and deliver services. I’ve completed a few, but they can be repetitive, sometimes overly long, and not always user friendly.
I’ve also read, and heard first-hand about the high number of organizations who have had to put their volunteer-delivered programs on hold. Hospitals, community services, and many others have been forced to temporarily freeze their volunteer programs due to health concerns. Thankfully some are now starting to open their doors again, and in some cases having to launch volunteer recruitment campaigns because many of their existing volunteers don’t feel it’s safe to return.
I’m grateful I can say, in the surveys I have completed, that to a large extent Threads of Life has been able to continue delivering programs. Our Volunteer Family Guide program is mostly virtual to begin with, and those supportive peer to peer relationships have continued.
Our Steps for Life committee volunteers across the country showed great resilience, at a time when they were all facing many personal challenges as well, with the pivot to a virtual Steps for Life event. A majority of our committees were in the habit of meeting by conference call anyway, and they carried on.
Some of our volunteer-delivered programs have had to take a brief hiatus, but with some creative thinking, and with the support and guidance of our volunteers, we will navigate through and find the way to move forward.
During this time we remain grateful above all to our volunteers for their endless spirit, determination, passion and commitment to our mission. We can’t wait to see you in person. In the meantime, we’re so glad that you are with us while we learn and experiment and ultimately prevail through these unusual times.