Heartfelt Appreciation for Veterans Legacy Summit Volunteers

Heartfelt Appreciation for Veterans Legacy Summit Volunteers

Posted on November 21, 2014 by Alicia Chalmers

Veterans Legacy Summit was incredible and would not have been possible without the amazing efforts of more than 200 volunteers engaged in 13 inspiring events over four days. As a volunteer, you may never know the effect that you may have made on a person that attended one of the Summit’s events.

A kind word, a gentle touch, a listening ear, and helping hand can mean so much to someone, and volunteers generously gave the gift of time to provide a special experience to all that participated and attended Veterans Legacy Summit. Volunteers bring life experiences, compassion, humor, hearts, and warmth and ask for nothing in return, yet you receive appreciation and satisfaction.

Our military and veterans put everything on the line to protect our freedom. We may never be able to repay them for their sacrifice, but we can and DID show them just how much we appreciate all that they have and continue to do for us and our great country during the Summit.

Volunteers were diverse and ranged in age from elementary girl scouts and boys from Visible Men Academy, high schoolers from Riverview, Booker, Incarnation and ODA and seasoned retirees all the way up to 92. We even had couples and families working side by side all with a servant's heart. As a volunteer you did one or more of the following:

1) You first and foremost honored veterans and their families, inspired patriotism, and embraced freedom

2) You handed out programs, fans, and water

3) You helped others get Zoned In in regards to veterans' issues

4) You greeted, ushered, and directed cars to parking at Patriot Plaza and offsite and stood on a bus backwards while talking

5) You carried a flag, proudly wore your service uniform and marched, which I think is like riding a bicycle once you have been through basic training

6) You moved water, food, and chauffeured a VIP, sometimes at the same time

7) You took the time to learn and explain the substantial art at Patriot Plaza to our guests and greeted artists and photographers at either one of the Ringling events

8) You greeted children and guests at the film festival at the Van Wezel

9) You assisted in the Legacy Zone

10) You met Abraham Lincoln and probably had your picture taken with him

11) You either rode in a golf cart, drove a golf cart, or avoided being run over by a golf cart

12) You assisted your fellow volunteers, team captains, and guests as needed

13) You were stylish in your volunteer attire, lanyards and you were never fully dressed without a smile

Every single person who was a volunteer went above and beyond and truly exceeded our expectations. You volunteer for many different reasons, but whatever reason, you provided support, talents and abilities and gave your time generously without any expectation of reward. My hope is that you receive the unexpected rewards that you gain from your volunteering experience because it is always better to give than receive - even time which is a most precious commodity.

Please know that we genuinely appreciate and value your commitment of time to volunteering at Veterans Legacy Summit and are in your gratitude. Patriot Plaza now belongs to the community and each one of you. Visit it often. Take your friends, family, and out of town guests as a reminder of our freedom and a place of reflection. It will live on in perpetuity, and know that one day your grandchildren's grandchildren will be admiring this one of a kind gift.

Your commitment to Veterans Legacy Summit was inspiring, and I wish you all the best as you continue to volunteer in our community. In closing, I want to leave you with a poem by John Wesley:

Do all the good you can.

By all the means you can.

In all the ways you can.

In all the places you can.

At all the times you can.

To all the people you can.

As long as ever you can. 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you!


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