I’ve worked in the nonprofit field for over 16 years.   Before that, I was like so many, I volunteered a little here and there, whether it was at church, at school, or an organization or cause.    I felt it was my duty, but I’ll be honest – I never really enjoyed it.   It usually felt more like an obligation, like something I “needed” to do.    I guess something was missing with my volunteer experience, I just didn’t realize it.

It wasn’t until I became involved with something I really felt passionate about, which made me realize that volunteering shouldn’t be an obligation, another thing that you have to check off of your “to do list”. It should be something you look forward to.   Volunteering with the right organization, no longer became an obligation for me, it was a joy.   It made me feel good about what I was doing.  It made me actually understand that my time really was appreciated by the organization and that was a reward I didn’t expect.    Reward comes in many ways to people, but this reward was felt in my heart, and there are no words for that.   I didn’t realize that a reward was what I was seeking, what I was needing.

Working with volunteers for the last several years, I have the rare opportunity to experience the volunteer experience from both aspects.   From the volunteer perspective as well as from the organization that depends on volunteers.   Thank You, doesn’t seem to fully express how we appreciate the volunteers that are part of Pine Grove Zoo.  Each of our Volunteers are not just someone to fill a void, it’s a very special person with a name, a smile, a voice and a passion that emulates our passion.

Like so many non-profit organizations, we need volunteers.   We want volunteers who see our vision, who love coming to share a few hours with us, who realize the value of their contributions are immeasurable.    Do you have 3 hours a week or ever other week that you want to share?    Is Pine Grove Zoo’s mission your passion?

Take it from someone who has volunteered countless hours for countless organizations, find out what your passion is and give a few hours. I’d love for you to volunteer with Pine Grove Zoo, but only if it’s your passion.   One bit of advice, wherever you choose to volunteer, you should feel appreciated and you need to be rewarded for the giving of your time.    You just need to find out what that reward  is.   So, what’s your reward?