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I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.”

Spoken originally by William Shakespeare and certainly felt by AWP staff and clients each day, these words cannot be expressed nearly enough to our selflessly dedicated volunteers.

As an organization that offers a wide range of services throughout Bucks County, staff members have extensive client and community needs to meet, very little of which could happen without the time and talents of our volunteers. Whether they are sorting donations, answering our 24-hour hotline, holding the hand of a client in a courtroom, babysitting in the shelter, or sharing resources at a tabling event, each and every one of our volunteers is essential to our organization. We literally could not do this work without them.

Again, it cannot be said enough, but in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, I want to tell every one of our volunteers – THANKS:

T = The immense TALENT you bring to your volunteer role is truly inspiring. The unique styles, experiences, and expertise that you offer to our organization bring such enrichment and diversity to our programs, and we are always grateful for your ideas, insights, and skillful practice.

H = The amount of HEART you devote to your work with us is not just meaningful to AWP staff but to our clients as well. There are days when you encounter individuals who are facing severely troubling challenges, and rather than turn away from them in fear and judgement (as much of society does), you embrace them with compassion, empathy, and support.

A = Many of you have experienced tremendous ADVERSITY and may be survivors of domestic violence yourselves. You are to be commended because rather than allow hardship to drag you down into despair and self-doubt, you have used it as a catalyst for enhancing your own self-worth, giving back to your community and empowering others to do the same.

N = As members of other groups and NETWORKS in the community, you have facilitated numerous connections between our organization and countless other individuals and organizations. Your support has not only strengthened our existing services, but it has also broadened our reach and helped AWP incite further awareness, understanding, and action at all levels of the movement to end domestic violence.

K = The work you do with AWP is the KEYSTONE of our organization – we would not be able to continue offering services and supporting our clients without your tireless support. We as staff need you, our clients need you, and your community needs you. But above all else, we appreciate you and the immeasurable ways that you contribute.

S = Volunteering for AWP does not end when you “clock out” and go about the rest of your day. As a volunteer, you embody the SPIRIT of AWP in your daily life when you lend a listening ear, collaborate rather than criticize, and lead others by example in your practice of AWP’s core values of courage, creativity, equality, integrity, respect, and social justice.

To all of our volunteers – in our shelter, in our thrift store, in any of our offices, and out in the community – I have said it once, and I will say it again, “I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.”

Lark Irwin
AWP Volunteer-Based Community Educator

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