How does one make 1000 phone calls, personalize and mail out hundreds of thank you cards, spend evenings giving talks to church groups, and Saturdays at an information booth spreading the word about Farm Radio International?
One word… Volunteers!
Farm Radio International is fortunate to have amazing volunteers and student interns working alongside our staff to help us expand our reach and keep our cost of operation as low as possible by dedicating hours and hours of their personal time to help us.
This September, we celebrated our volunteers with a social gathering at our office in Ottawa. Despite some drizzle and traffic snarls we welcomed nearly 40 of our Farm Radio volunteers and toasted them for their efforts. Executive Director Kevin Perkins spoke to the group about the fact that we also benefit from the volunteer support that regularly takes place at our 10 offices in Africa, and thanked them for their tireless generosity.
Brenda Jackson, Manager of Fundraising, recognized four volunteers who have been helping us run our Africa Rocks Curling Bonspiel for the past 10 years — and who have been volunteering even longer than that; Jim & Shirley Lowe along with Duncan Bury and his wife Louise Atkins received our brand new Farm Radio International lapel pin — a small token to recognize their decade of volunteering.
Also in attendance were volunteers like Heather. Heather just started volunteering this past year, and was so inspired by our work that she bought a ticket to our annual African Harvest fundraising dinner, and became a monthly donor as well! High school students, like Sam & Norah, and former interns like Elvin, who continues to volunteer even after his internship ended in 2018 joined us. Elvin even brought his friend Yolande, who volunteered because Elvin encouraged her to get involved.
Everyone had time to meet and talk to several of our Farm Radio International Board Members, including our new Chair, John van Mossel, also in attendance. Farm Radio Board Members volunteer their time and talent in many ways as well, and it was great to see so many of them take the time to attend, greet, and say thanks to the other volunteers in the room.
I’m also happy to report that many of our guests signed up to help out on a few projects we have coming up this fall — like our curling bonspiel on November 2nd, plus general office volunteering opportunities, and calling campaign volunteers. Of course, we welcome new and returning volunteers to join us. If you have a few hours to spare, and think you’d like to get involved as a volunteer — get in touch and we will find something that fits your schedule and your needs.
It isn’t too big a stretch to think that without volunteers, Farm Radio International might not have made it to our 40th anniversary. We truly appreciate everything our volunteers do, and have done in the past to get us where we are today. In short, we’re incredibly thankful.
We have big plans for the future. If you’d like to get more involved and make a bigger impact towards helping small scale farmers, rural families, and supporting the work we do towards gender equality, food security and nutrition, become a Farm Radio International volunteer today!
Jeff Larocque works with major gifts & special initiatives as part of Farm Radio International’s fundraising team. In his spare time, Jeff can be found behind the mic of his own radio show, volunteering at CKCU. This Thanksgiving, he is especially thankful for everyone who helped him during his recovery from shoulder surgery.