Volunteer Appreciation Week!

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April 19 – 25 is Volunteer Appreciation Week! As I sit to write this letter, I think about how, since 1975, it has been Volunteers that make Ignite go! And in the five years I have been with Ignite, that has not changed. Volunteers are the Heart of Ignite. Today, I want to take a little time to brag about our volunteers. 

I have spent more than 30 years in the nonprofit sector – and most, if not all of those years have been spent working with volunteers. I believe all volunteers at every agency in the US (more than 1.5 million) add significant value to the programs they serve.   

I also know that only a few of these agencies have volunteers as unique, dedicated, and committed as our Ignite Volunteers. I have said this many times: Ignite would not exist without our volunteers. It is not just because of the labor they provide (even with our generous donors we would never raise enough money to replace that, almost $400,000). It is the ideas they bring, the passion they have, and the commitment to make sure we are all successful.  

“We are in this together.” Ignite volunteers coined this phrase 45 years ago. It shows today in the resources they give freely – not only of time and finances, but also of connections to the community, great food, the laughter, and the Heart! The Heart – is what shows up daily (on the hill and off) year-round, with our Ignite family of volunteers.  

I am honored and humbled to be working with such a talented team of individuals. While I might not get to see each volunteer during the season, please know that I see and understand the sacrifices they make each day to make sure each of our students has the time of their lives, each time they come up to World Headquarters (WHQ).  

While we all continue to navigate these complicated and uncertain times, I know our volunteers will tap into what they do best at Ignite – where things are often complicated and uncertain – and find that strength to adapt and move through this pandemic with the grace and smile of an Ignite Volunteer.  

On behalf of our students, our board, and our staff – THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS – for all you do for Ignite. And thank you, our donors, for your generosity that lets our volunteers shine! 

Gratefully, 
Carol Nickell, Executive Director

Volunteers – the Heart of Ignite;
Students – the Soul of Ignite;
Eldora – the Home of Ignite;
and Donors – the Engine of Ignite

“The caring heart is free of judgement. It is not concerned with answering all the whys but with discovering all the ways” – Arlene Stepputat- Author The Caring Heart

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