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National Volunteer Week 2024

How Lucky Am I?

As a volunteer management professional for more than 20 years, I have had the pleasure of being involved in several professional networking groups. Currently, I am facilitating two groups. Locally, I facilitate the Volunteer Coordinator’s Network of SE Michigan. This group of over 175 talented individuals is comprised of professional volunteer managers from the non-profit and profit sector in Southeast Michigan. Many of you would recognize the organization names. We meet several times per year to discuss topics of mutual interest. We share challenges and victories as we talk about our own individual programs. We get to hear a lot about how other volunteer programs work or don’t work. No two programs are exactly the same. We learn so much from each other and support each other when one of us is struggling. It’s a terrific group of people representing some impressive programs.

I am so proud to represent Leader Dogs for the Blind and our volunteer program.  I get to brag about the great things Leader Dog volunteers do and the many lives they have helped change. It’s impressive when I say we have 400 on-campus and 400 off-campus puppy raisers, counselors, breeding host and mentors. Last year we had over 35,500 on-campus service hours and millions of off-campus hours donated.  Sometimes, at the end of a very long week, I reflect on just how lucky I am to be part of the Leader Dog family. It is my sincerest wish that every Leader Dog volunteer feels seen, heard, appreciated, fulfilled . . . and perhaps even lucky like I do.

Check out all our social channels this week to learn more about how volunteers at Leader Dog are making a difference.

Melissa Pletcher, Manager of Volunteer Engagement