Letter to a Volunteer Veteran

Dear Volunteer Veteran,

Thank you for being a model of a humble, altruistic volunteer to our group and the others involved with Appalachia Service Project (ASP).  Before our encounter, I had never met anyone so invested in helping a cause; I think it is incredible how you dedicated so much of your life to volunteering for ASP (over twenty years!).  Our group enjoyed your presence and contribution to the team which was shown when members kept joining you for car rides and late game nights.  Just yesterday in our extended class for spring break volunteers, all members of our group mentioned you when we were reflecting on our time in Virginia.  They and I included only had good things to say.  There was even a Louisiana volunteer in our class who said, “I wish I had a volunteer veteran like him on my team!”.  We were so grateful to have you in our group because you helped us more than you know; you saved us valuable time from making mistakes and starting over, and without you, we would not have completed the two retaining walls as our co-leader Jillian mentioned.  Also, thank you for spending time and gas money by driving to get drill bits and other tools when we ran out.

When your eyes lit up when the group discussed their “Mountaintop Moment,” it became clear to us how much volunteering for ASP means to you and that was the moment I knew just how much you truly care about the well-being of others.  This is what I discovered about you in the short amount of time that we spent together in ASP.

Because of the motive behind your many years of service, your passion for helping others rather than for the recognition (I have met a few volunteers whose hearts I suspected were not in the right place), you served as an inspiration to our group.  In one of the readings from class, we learned the difference between volunteering and service, and you are the epitome of someone who knows the meaning of service.

Sincerely,

Erica

Photo Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/silhouette-photography-of-a-man-standing-and-bow-down-head-196988/

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