Thanks to the volunteers who guide and serve our local nonprofits | Opinion

The longer I live in Tallahassee, the more thankful I become for the servant-leaders of the nonprofits in our community – the essential volunteers and supporters who contribute to nonprofits without widespread recognition.

Some servant-leaders volunteer to help as on-the-ground foot soldiers who are dedicated to the organization’s mission. For the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, these are the numerous volunteers who usher our concerts, help out at the office or ensure our events have necessary infrastructure.

I see volunteers working festivals and events throughout Tallahassee, taking meals to the housebound, sleeping overnight in Cascades Park to raise awareness or joining in community walks to bring attention to worthy causes. I think I speak for the entire community when I say “Thank you” to these generous people.

Other servant-leaders contribute important resources to our nonprofits. These are the scores of individuals who open their wallets – and by extension their hearts – to support our operations and mission, or those who donate a much-needed service, such as web design or legal help.

For the Tallahassee Symphony, these are the folks who realize ticket sales alone don’t cover the cost of a concert. They give generously to our annual fund or give hours of their time providing us with technological and computing help.

Gestures like these are a way of saying, “I value what this nonprofit provides me and the community.” On behalf of the nonprofits you support, I offer my heartfelt thanks.

The servant-leaders I feel most thankful for this Thanksgiving are those who serve on the boards that guide our nonprofits. Without compensation and often without recognition, they offer copious amounts of time, talent and treasure.

Active and engaged boards like the one we have in the TSO allow us to “punch above our weight” and are essential, enthusiastic ambassadors for our work. It is both touching and fortifying for staff members like me to witness their commitment to our organizations. So on behalf of all nonprofit employees, I thank all who serve on Tallahassee’s nonprofit boards for their tremendous contributions.

Everyone in our community benefits from what nonprofit organizations offer, from social services to arts and culture and beyond. This Thanksgiving, let’s celebrate our good fortune in living among generous people who make nonprofit work possible: our servant-leaders.

By Amanda Stringer | Courtesy of the Tallahassee Democrat