April 11, 2011

NAFCM Celebrates National Volunteer Week

Community Mediation Runs on Volunteers!

Volunteer mediators serve on their communities' front lines of conflict. They supplement the work of our field's dedicated professional administrators, assist neighbors and family members with all manner of disputes, and lead by their daily, personal example of how to constructively engage differences.

Given all they do for their communities and our movement of over 400 U.S. community mediation programs, its fitting to formally recognize and appreciate their contributions. That is why NAFCM is celebrating National Volunteer Week (April 10-16) and encouraging you to do the same!

This year's slogan: "Celebrating People in Action" is a wonderful reminder to acknowledge those who do so much in so many varied ways. Community mediation volunteers donate countless hours in case development, mediation settings, and on follow-up activities. For those programs tracking these hours for financial reporting, the value of volunteers' donated time can quickly add up. (Two recognized resources for valuing volunteers' time come from Independent Sector: $21.36/hour and the Department of Labor's Occupational Employment Statistics for mediators: $25.37/hour.)    

Beyond the critical volunteer mediator role, community dispute resolution programs also utilize volunteers for administrative, clerical, training, and many other capacities. Without these generous gifts, many programs would be unable to meet their communities' needs or even maintain sustainability.  

Recognizing this fact, we encourage all community mediation programs to explore this handy Resource Guide full of ideas on how to promote your recognition of volunteers. We also invite you to post a comment to tell us how you recognize your volunteers, either this week or other times throughout the year.

Get creative, be genuine, and celebrate your own people in action today!

In community,
Executive Director, NAFCM

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