If you’re a Threads of Life volunteer, you will be familiar with our ongoing request that you track the time you spend on volunteer activities. You can probably attest to the fact that we ask this repeatedly of all our volunteers. The reason we do this is so that we can measure the amount of time our volunteers contribute. This information helps us demonstrate our impact to our funders, allows us to report our in-kind contributions on our annual reports and financial statements, and it’s a significant part of the snapshot of our overall activities from year to year. Based on this reporting, we know our volunteers contribute close to 9000 hours each year. 

The fact that all the time spent delivering programs and planning events can be represented so simply is incredible, and at the same time, misleading. We know that this type of measurement, while necessary, doesn’t tell the true worth of the efforts of our volunteers. It doesn’t measure the value to family members who receive words of understanding and encouragement from volunteer family guides, or to someone who has been moved to tears by a speaker’s bureau presentation that they know they will never forget. The time, effort, dedication and passion of our volunteers could never be truly reflected in a number. 

Threads of Life wouldn’t continue to exist and thrive without our volunteers. The need to keep reporting volunteer hours as a single number is a necessity that won’t change, and you know our requests to enter your volunteer hours will continue in new and creative ways.  But please also know that we know: our volunteers are absolutely invaluable.

Lorna Catrambone

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