Volunteer Recognition Day

June 26th, 2008

Inside Thirteen Blogger: Gloria Deucher, Director, Volunteer Services

Yesterday we celebrated a very special event here at Thirteen. It was Volunteer Recognition Day! Although National Volunteer Week is observed in late April, at Thirteen we traditionally celebrate in June, at the end of the fiscal year. It just seems like a good time to take stock and recognize the accomplishment of our volunteers who contribute an extraordinary amount of time and effort to the mission and goals of the station.

Thirteen staff member Cora Myers and
volunteer Betty Lou Necarsulmer

Our President and CEO Neal Shapiro primed the pump by sending out an all-station email reminding employees to pick up a ‘V for volunteer’ ribbon at the reception desk on their way in to work. It was great to see most people wearing the blue V-shaped ribbon. Employees realize that even if they don’t work directly with volunteers, their life here is enhanced by the volunteers’ presence. Neal noted that although it’s important to set aside a day to formally recognize our volunteers, a simple “Thank you” at any time during the year is an important investment in our volunteer program.Today we got to see how that investment pays off.

At the luncheon in their honor, Neal pointed out that our volunteers racked up an impressive score card this year. Almost 120 individuals in departments throughout the company and an equal number of corporate volunteers contributed over 17,000 hours of service. They staffed the reception desk, helped with huge mailings, staffed the Member & Viewer Relations information line, answered those ringing pledge phones, gave tours and helped at community events such as World Science Day and the Teaching and Learning Celebration.

Gloria Deucher (L) and Thirteen President & CEO Neal Shapiro present Elizabeth Nathan with her certificate for ten years of service.

We paid special tribute to volunteers who celebrated significant milestones – 10, 15, 20 and – believe it or not- 30 years of service to the station. Really- how many of us can say we’ve been dedicated to a cause or stuck with a commitment for 30 years? But these people are not just dedicated to the mission of public television. There’s something more that keeps them coming back week after week, year after year. That “something” is the lasting bonds they have forged with their fellow volunteers and the staff at Thirteen. That camaraderie, team spirit and sense of accomplishment were very apparent in the room today. On days like today, we all know why we’re here.

All photos: Joe Sinnott

Interested in volunteering at Thirteen? Call 212-568-1313 for more information.