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Leader's Insight: Giving Value to Volunteers

What hospitals can teach us about appreciating our unpaid workers (and other thoughts from my journal).

From my journal: About two years ago, the wife of a friend of mine signed on to do volunteer work for a hospital. After appropriate training and skill-matching, she was assigned to the information desk at the front entrance with the charge to make people entering the hospital feel welcomed, at ease, and properly informed.

To put it mildly, my friend's wife has flourished in this task.

I'm speaking of someone who has always been a volunteer. Some might describe her as an activist. Forty years ago before her Christian faith came alive, she (and her husband) had been among those who, as students, were highly involved in the civil rights movement. They were two of the many who marched in the streets, organized sit-ins, and distributed pamphlets calling for change in our nation's racial attitudes.

Later, when she and her husband became "observant" Christians, they redirected all this volunteer energy toward the church and made significant contributions to the life of our congregation. They were ...

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