This past Saturday we held our Volunteer Appreciation Night event celebrating the generosity of all of our amazing volunteers, event hosts, and organizers. We decided to do this as a way to kick off National Volunteer Week which is this week, April 23rd to April 29th. Stagecoach Tavern was gracious enough to let us use their private event space and everyone had a great time socializing.
During the event we gave a summary of Serve KC’s impact to Kansas City in 2016 (reserved for a future blog post) and we also took the opportunity to recognize some of our Top Volunteers of 2016. Each of the volunteers honored received a certificate of appreciation and recognition for their efforts. The commitment, dedication, and sheer generosity of these volunteers is simply amazing! In total these volunteers accounted for 1,341 hours of volunteer time! That is 13% of Serve KC’s total volunteer hours for the year! So without further ado, here are our Top Volunteers of 2016:
For me, one of the joys of the night was being able to recognize these volunteers. This was extra special because it was the first time we’ve been able to do so since our very early beginnings. Before our very first “Birthday Party” back in 2011 I spent many hours manually tallying and calculating the hours that each of our volunteers contributed. Back then it was possible since it was our first year and we only organized 61 events and had about 340 members total. However, we grew very quickly and it soon became an impossible task to keep up with. We now average between 30-40 events and over 400 volunteers giving their time in a single month!
With the help of some community “Big Data” volunteers organized this past fall in a special event called the Data Viz-A-Thon we were able to extract our data from Meetup. Using this data we were able to calculate individual volunteer hours. The dollar figures are calculated from the Independent Sector’s estimated value of volunteer time for Missouri ($21.57/hr). Throughout our Volunteer Appreciation Night though nearly everyone talked about how giving their time gave so much back to them in return. They of course don’t volunteer for the recognition or any awards or prizes. They volunteer because they get so much joy out of giving to others. Whether it is preparing a meal for Hospice House, sorting donations at Harvesters, or working on a home for Habitat for Humanity our volunteers have a tangible impact on the Kansas City community as well as an intangible impact on lives. We can try to put a dollar amount to it but to our volunteers it is priceless.
To finish off National Volunteer Week Serve KC is holding our 2nd Annual Volunteer Fair. Last year this was one of our largest events with 20 nonprofit agencies represented and well over 100 visitors. This year we will have 30 nonprofit agencies and are hoping for an even bigger turnout. Please help us spread the word and we hope to see you there! Congratulations to all of our Top Volunteers of 2016 and THANK YOU to every single Serve KC volunteer!!