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Today's Date: 20 April 2014
Last Updated: 19 April 2014 09:03:10 EST
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Volunteers offer special help

Lions deliver gifts to patients at the hospital. – Photo: File

Finding the right words to thank volunteers is not always an easy task.  

But making sure that volunteers feel appreciated is one of the most important things we can do. After all, it is these people who freely give their time and energy for worthy causes and expect nothing in return. 

This Christmas and throughout the year everyone should find a way of saying thank you, or maybe hosting an appreciation event to show they are special and needed. 

The token of appreciation will help keep volunteers keen and interested and it will help to ensure that they remain true to the cause. 

“We are one of the few charities in the Cayman Islands that provide direct service to our recipients. Our staff diligently cook the meals but it’s the invaluable service of the volunteers that make the difference as they are sometimes the only human interaction the senior may have for the day,” said Beulah McField, Meals on Wheels director 

“Volunteers take their duty serious. Case and point, Mrs. Rose Steward, an employee with Caribbean Utilities, has been a volunteer since 1999 and when her husband died, she took the customary bereavement period but quickly came back to her seniors whom she insisted needed her. 

Volunteers are critical to the success of any organisation. Without their time and energy it would not be possible to accomplish all of the goals of the organisation.  

Many nonprofit organisations such as the Cayman Cultural Foundation, Animal Rescue, Big Brother, Big Sisters, Lions, Rotary, Leo, NCVO, Heart Fund, Cancer Society, National Trust, Red Cross and CODAC rely heavily on the generosity of volunteers. Sometimes these volunteers are so integrated into the work of the organisation that they are referred to as unpaid staff. 

“The sky is the limit when it comes to individual volunteer performance in the North Side district. 

Archie Whittaker is a relentless individual who can be depended on to provide. The range of his capacity is endless from weddings, to funerals, to concerts and birthday parties. The community depends on Mr. Whittaker to make sure that whatever they want done is done right. 

“North side residents Mary Lou Miller, Alex Johnson, Beatrice Chisholm , Sue Ebanks, Savannah Newlands’ Heather Bodden, Ellen Eden and island-wide seniors committee; we thank them for their dedication and contributions to the senior citizens. These ladies go over and beyond the call of duty to ensure that the seniors of our community are well taken care of with regular lunching, monthly social, Christmas events and visitations, which the entire senior population of our community looks forward to. 

“A dedicated individual to education, Sandy Ebanks Powery is a head of year teacher at John Gray high school, and a dedicated Christian and community worker for North Side. She spends most of her time moulding and guiding the children of the Wesleyan Holiness church and congregation, to make sure that all of their needs are taken care of spiritually, mentally and emotionally. We can all depend on Sandy.”  

At times other organisations use volunteers for one-time assignments or for campaigns of a certain length, making sure volunteers understand how important they are to a nonprofit is critical in retaining volunteers and maximising productivity. 

“Every volunteer, even the purely altruistic one who isn’t trying to advance a career or other personal agenda, wants to know that he or she is making a difference and advancing the cause.  

“The Pink Ladies, volunteers of Cayman Heart Fund, the Humane Society, Diabetes Association, special constables, church and cleanup volunteers and so many more make life a little more tolerable for some of the island and we say thank you to all.” 

 
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