Did you know?
- In the United States, the dependence on volunteers is on the rise. The number of independent sector organizations with more than 50 volunteers rose from 55% in 2015 to 76% in 2016.
- In 2016, about 63 million Americans gave 8 billion hours of volunteer service worth $193 billion. Source: independentsector.org
As with all other aspects of the work at BCAP, the key aspects of managing volunteers (recruitment, training, placement, acknowledgement and retention), boil down to relationship-building. Volunteers tell us time and again of the positive impact being a part of BCAP’s mission has on them. It doesn’t matter whether a volunteer has been providing service for three months or a decade, they frequently tell us they will carry the impact of BCAP in their heart, as they move out of state and/or on to other adventures. BCAP volunteers share their stories as they move through the world so it’s no surprise that a large number of volunteers get started with BCAP through a word-of-mouth referral to the agency.
Recently a couple came to BCAP in hopes that a new volunteer might be here. He is their daughter’s good friend, from Ghana, and they hoped to say hello. He wasn’t here when they came in, but we ended up having a great conversation about how enthusiastic the friend who volunteers here is. A few minutes into the conversation, I put two and two together and asked “Wait! Are you Della’s parents?” “Yes,” they replied, which blew me away because Della volunteered here about six years ago, and they hadn’t mentioned that yet. Back then, Della was working at Illegal Pete’s when a whole group of BCAP trainees came through the line on our lunch break. She noticed the name tags we wore and asked me what we were up to and…that’s how she came to BCAP. When we met about volunteering here she told me of her dreams to volunteer in Africa and of her interest in sexual health. Imagine my excitement to hear an update on her life from her parents!
Since I last saw her, she had a wonderful volunteer experience in Kenya and now she works for Planned Parenthood in Denver, with, wait for it…former BCAP staff member Lauren Archuletta! Sometimes it feels these small-world connections through BCAP never cease. And that’s a good thing.