On Wednesday, April 8 a group of volunteers gathered with several museum staff for a Digital Town Hall. Holding their perspective pets in the comfort of their own homes, each went around sharing updates and well wishes and reflecting on this new “normal.” April is a special month for our volunteers. We were scheduled to gather on April 4 for our annual appreciation breakfast and to join the nation in celebrating Volunteer Appreciation Month. This time allows us to slow down amidst museum operations and a busy program schedule to reflect on the contributions of this incredible team of people. We would have shared that over 200 volunteers clocked in 8,036 in 2019 alone (the equivalent of $204,255.48 according to the Independent Sector’s “Value of the a Volunteer Hour” calculation). Staff supervisors would have commented on the tireless work of their teams – cataloging, leading tours, greeting guests, running craft stations, and so much more. The event would have concluded with the announcement of the Volunteer of the Year Award – something the staff has treasured celebrating over the years. While we value every volunteer’s contribution, this is our opportunity to thank and acknowledge the standout work of one individual who has truly gone above and beyond.
With the temporary closure of the Museum’s building and for the concern of volunteer health and safety, we have postponed all events. Volunteer acknowledgement is so important to our staff and we will plan a new celebratory event down the road. We’re going to save the reflections, save the award announcements and wait until we can gather again. In the meantime, there is no short supply of “Thank You’s” to go around. As many of us sit in the comfort of our own homes, hard at work on laptops and continuing to fulfill the mission of our Museum, we have volunteers on our mind. We’re actively reflecting on how much we value the support and camaraderie of our volunteers. The CSPM is truly a family, and working with our volunteers is not only critical to our mission, but makes each day gratifying and meaningful. We look forward to seeing all of the volunteers again, and until we can say in person, THANK YOU!