About a month ago a very nice woman who said she was on an elementary school’s community committee contacted me. She was given the task of finding or developing a manners program for the students, and asked me for help.
After a lot of time and work, she called the school counselor and told her we were going to start a week later than we hoped, but would finish on time. The counselor gave my new friend her verbal approval over the phone, but then emailed her the next day saying the school decided to delay the program all together, and sounded non-committal about doing it in the fall. As my friend gave me the news she sounded devastated. My impression is that she has been devoting every moment of her free time to this, and her hard work was basically dismissed.
Dismissing a volunteer’s ideas or hard work is not acceptable, and delivering the news through email is not only unprofessional but also inconsiderate. Dallasites have an amazing sense of volunteerism, and an endless amount of people who give their time and money to non-profit organizations. The recipients of these organizations need to remain gracious and grateful, and not take for granted all of the people who are willing to help them. As a staff worker or fellow volunteer, treat volunteers with the upmost respect, and remember that there are hundreds of other places that these volunteers can easily take their time and talents. In this situation I hope that my friend finds a new place to volunteer where her hard work is truly appreciated.