By Allyson Ferrari, Volunteer Manager
April 18 to 22 is National Volunteer Week and LightHouse will be celebrating by recognizing the valuable work of our volunteers. They have given more than 13,000 hours to the LightHouse community since the beginning of 2020.
It’s hard to imagine what LightHouse would look like without the crucial support that volunteers provide. Just this past week, we’ve had volunteers remove invasive plant species and restore the walkway around the Enchanted Hills Camp lake, pilot tandem bicycles with youth who are blind or have low vision in their ride across the Bay Bridge, and help students vote by mail in local elections.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, our volunteers have continued to meet with LightHouse students in person and in their homes, providing essential support like document reading, grocery shopping, neighborhood walks, and so much more. Additionally, we’ve had volunteers who connect with our students regularly by phone as friendly visitors, bridging geographic gaps from San Francisco to Eureka. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we know people experienced increased social isolation and loneliness, especially seniors, and these volunteers have given a tremendous amount of time to lessen that frequency.
This weekend we will be celebrating the volunteers who have given their time for the past two years; they’ve been invited to a special LightHouse event in their honor. At the event, we will be awarding four volunteers the Volunteer of the Year Award for their exemplary service. Of the 279 volunteers who gave their time in 2021, these four volunteers went above and beyond every time. One volunteer has volunteered over 550 hours since 2017, becoming a fixture in the community for their commitment to our programs. Another volunteer is a “yes” volunteer and gives with integrity, humility, and commitment every time they step through the door. And two Personal Service Volunteers are so regular, you can set your watch to them. Find out in our next LightHouse e-newsletter who these four volunteers are!
LightHouse would not be able to carry out our mission without this vital volunteer support that occurs year-round. To all volunteers, thank you on behalf of LightHouse staff for all of the time that you contribute in working with the blind community.
Addendum: May 16, 2022 – Find out who the four 2022 LightHouse Volunteers of the Year are!