Volunteers form an integral part of any non-profit charitable organization. The concept of inclusion and linking individuals to the generic community, largely depends on the involvement of well connected volunteers. In the early years of our Association, volunteers were the only means of providing support to individuals with developmental handicaps in our community and was on a limited basis. As demands for service, direct care and support grew, and financial resources became available, paid staff were hired to expand the role of volunteers. We entered into a new era of providing residential, vocational, employment and community living skills that were highly specialized, and required specially trained personnel.
The introduction of paid staff into the field did not however curtail the significance of the volunteer role within our Association. While we continue to include people and provide very individualized support, at a time where financial resources once again may be limited, the volunteer will continue to play an integral part of our future. It is important to recognize and define the role of volunteer, and to understand that the volunteer has as many expectations of us, as we do of them. An overview of From a Volunteer's Viewpoint which follows, articulates some of those expectations. It is important to determine with the volunteer the commitment they are willing to make in terms of time and expertise. The worst thing we can ask of volunteers is to do something they are not knowledgeable about, or that will take more time than they are willing or prepared to give.
Some of the volunteer support afforded us by members of our community would include:
DEFINITION: A volunteer as defined by the New Webster dictionary is, "a person who of his own free will offers himself for a service or duty."
From A Volunteer's Viewpoint
If you want my loyalty, interest and best efforts, remember that ...
In brief, it really doesn't matter how much sense my part in this organization makes to you - I must feel it makes sense to me.