Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Volunteer Appreciation Week at NK Fishline

Since 1967, thousands of volunteers have served our community through NK Fishline by giving their time, talent and heart. Currently, we have over 250 volunteers who are actively making a difference in the lives of our neighbors. These past and present volunteers are the soul of our organization and we could not serve the community without them.

There are no words to describe the incredible people we have working at NK Fishline. I know this because I do my best to express my gratitude to and for them every day. The sensation that fills my heart each morning as I work is unexplainable, but I will do my best to elaborate.

Picture a dark, soggy, blustery Monday morning in the middle of December. It’s 7:30am and I am sitting at my desk with a view of a large vacant parking lot. Minutes silently pass and then I hear a vehicle pulling in, then more headlights and another car, followed by another, and yet another. Within minutes, my quiet workplace is a buzzing hive of activity. I hear laughter, salutations, and even exclamations of delight as volunteers reconnect after time spent apart. Boxes are being shuffled and sorted and carts roll across the concrete floor. The market has come alive and in this eventful commotion my heart smiles. This is no ordinary place of business; this is NK Fishline where neighbors come to serve their neighbors and make a difference in the lives of others. This is a place where volunteering means you are part of a family and service is done amongst friends.

Our market operates with over 145 regularly scheduled volunteers a week. These selfless individuals come to sort thousands of pounds of food each day and make our market a warm and friendly place for our clients.

Volunteers at Second Season sort through mountains of clothing donations, while volunteers at Second Season Home Store breathe new life into gently used furniture. These stores boast impressive sales with over 80 volunteers working together to provide quality clothing, decor and furniture to our local community, knowing the proceeds will be returning to our facilities and neighbors in need.

In addition to our market and stores, there are many volunteers you will never meet. These volunteers are behind the scenes entering data, making calls to follow up on clients, and working on our computers and software. They may be out of sight, however, they are never forgotten when it comes to our success.

Some might think it’s overwhelming to have so many volunteers running an organization, but the only thing overpowering is the feeling of gratitude I have for the volunteers. They come rain or shine, when many would find curling up with a good book or getting their own chores done better time spent.

It is truly a privilege to work alongside such incredible people. If I were to try and verbalize this feeling, it would be an amalgam of love, admiration, hope, and gratitude. Every day I watch a stream of volunteers bring our facilities to life. My faith in this world is renewed daily as I witness generosity, empathy, and compassion from my neighbors. Words are not enough; nonetheless, I will say this from my heart with adoration and respect: Thank you to those who give their lives to others, especially the volunteers of NK Fishline. You are a gift to our community that cannot be measured.

-Marie Hobson, Volunteer Manager

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