April is National Volunteer Month! Although our programs have shifted online and over the phone, many of our KOM volunteers are still hard at work, and we want to recognize their skills and dedication. They have a positive impact not only at KOM, but also on their community.
Volunteers are involved with almost every aspect of KOM. Here are just a few of the ways they serve:
- Community Health Interns work with staff to lead discussions and workshops about sensitive health topics with knowledge, understanding, and confidence.
- Human Service Volunteers faithfully serve our walk-in clients and relieve their worries when faced with alarming notices in the mail.
- ESL tutors bring a passion for teaching and connecting with students that help make our beginning ESL classroom so inviting.
- Communications Interns create articles and social media posts that share KOM’s story with the community.
Suzanne Olive, Volunteer Coordinator at KOM, works most closely with the Communications interns. She said, “It’s fun chatting with them about topics we want to cover and helping with some of the logistics, but the best part is seeing how they put it all together.”
Joe and Jessica, our Spring 2020 Communications Interns, continue to work on communications projects from home during the Coronavirus outbreak. They have been gathering updates on community resources, managing social media, and creating content for the April newsletter. “It’s been an interesting time,” Joe said. “We’ve had to become much more deliberate about collaborating. The office may be closed but the work’s never been more important.”
Most of the interns at KOM in Communications, Community Health, and Human Services are college students using this opportunity to further their professional development. Because most of KOM’s programs are not geared towards college students, Suzanne also said that she enjoys the chance to connect with this age group through the various volunteer programs. “It amazes me to see the knowledge and passion these students have for serving others,” she added.
Volunteers provide great support for our staff, but they are more than assistants: they are an essential part of the KOM team. “The work that our volunteers and interns do isn’t just about the projects that they complete or the number of hours they contribute. It’s also the environment that they create,” Suzanne said. “I believe that our organization’s culture is healthier thanks to them.”
Staff love to share their skills and experience with volunteers. Sometimes they even learn new things from their volunteers in return! “In my eyes, this is how we stay a community organization,” Suzanne said, “by valuing the knowledge and skills of our community members, and inviting them to participate in service. A strong community serves together. Our volunteers give us strength.”
To learn more about volunteer and internship programs at KOM, contact Suzanne Olive at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-202-3112.