Posted by: COSI | September 1, 2009

Our Incredible Volunteers

So I was supposed to have started vacation– but too many important items were still needing my attention before I could feel comfortable leaving town. So Dottie drove off to Virginia without me to see our granddaughter (and her parents! 😉 in DC then head to Williamsburg to help our oldest daughter get her wedding plans moved forward.

I was bummed and in a bit of a bad mood as I so need a break and hate missing any times that I could see little Leah.

I remembered that I was now going to be around for our volunteer event. Our volunteers are so critical to COSI functioning fully and are such a great group I wanted to at least show up to show my support. Turned out that was the best remedy for my bad mood.

I was able to watch hundreds of volunteers and their families fill Gallery One where we were holding the event. They came in all ages and backgrounds and the growing number of teens who were there as a result of our new Science Career Ladder was most gratifying.

Listening to the growth of volunteer hours last year (20 percent) and handing the award for two veterans who have given 5000 hours of their time since we opened at 333 W. Broad were inspiring. The highlight, though, was probably listening to two college interns share what COSI did for them in advancing their self-awareness and career skills. I was anxious to hear from them as we had more than doubled our college intern participation from 15 to 35 this last year, something I had been encouraging.

I was impressed to hear them speak of how this was the perfect place for them to build skills and identify their developing career choices. The top comment was probably Kyle’s emphatic point that the community isn’t aware of all the positive ways in which we contribute to people’s futures, and that his time with us had catalyzed his career path thinking.

We can address the public hearing that message—but we have to have the mission message first and Kyle certainly reinforced that.

If I had to still be in town, this event with the enthusiasm, energy, and affirmation of how the mutually beneficial relationships between COSI and our volunteers all works certainly helped compensate for starting my vacation late.

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