Jennifer Nelson is justifiably proud of the work her organization — Near & Far Aid — does. Earlier this week, at their annual meeting, they announced that in their last fiscal cycle, they donated $978,000 to 90 Fairfield County non-profit agencies that target poverty.
But, Jennifer notes, the hard work of volunteers often gets lost amid such news.
She wants them to have their moment in the sun. She writes:
Volunteers should wear capes. Super Hero capes. They deserve to be recognized.Yet most do the work not for the recognition, but for the discreet satisfaction it gives them to make a meaningful difference.
With no paid staff and no office space, N&FA has successfully raised over $13 million dollars since 2000.
Event chairs, who often spend 10 to 12 months of their lives creating and executing large scale events, were publicly recognized this week. But one award in particular is worth noting, as it pays special attention to the volunteer who has not received any prior public recognition for his or her work. The Jeannie Fay Award is granted to an individual who has volunteered selflessly for at least 10 years and demonstrated outstanding dedication to the work of the organization. The recipient demonstrates the standard of caring that was first established by the organization’s founder, Jeannie Fay.
This year’s award went to Near & Far Aid’s own “Super Hero,” Miggs Burroughs. A local artist, author and innovator who aids many local charities, Miggs has assisted with audio-visual production on our for many years.
Miggs humbly approached the podium to accept the award (no evidence of a cape). He looked surprised and a bit embarrassed by the attention because, of course, he is much more comfortable quietly doing the meaningful work of a volunteer than he is in the spotlight. But Near & Far Aid felt it was certainly worth highlighting. Volunteers are the organization’s life blood.