Archive for June, 2012

The joy of unconditional love and giving is the theme for Shel Silverstein’s classic story, “The Giving Tree.” In this book, a tree loves a little boy so much that she will give him everything, from the apples and leaves that adorn her branches to the mighty trunk that is her life.

Like Silverstein’s tree, we have loved and served unconditionally for 116 years, changing countless lives for the better.  Rooted in the vision, passion and sacrifice of our founders, our 16,000-member family is, in effect, a “Giving Tree,” lifting up all people and living out our credo—that “there are no limits to caring.”

At our recent national conference in Tampa, more than 500 of our Volunteers of America family members joined in celebrating each other’s accomplishments, sharing our challenges, learning together and growing as an organization.  We may each represent different branches, but we are all part of the same “family tree”—Our Giving Tree.

Each of these people has now returned home, back to the work of serving people most in need in their local communities.  Like a sturdy old tree, our branches form a canopy across the four corners of the United States, shading those who might be experiencing homelessness, addiction, disability or other challenges.

When I think of the efforts of our intrepid Volunteers of America family, during a history that spans more than a century, I’m reminded of Job 14:7, “At least there is hope for a tree; If it is cut down, it will spout again, and its new shoots will not fail.”  Few organizations have roots that run as deep as ours or branches that span as far, any because of this our clients know they can depend on us over the long term.

For more information about Volunteers of America’s national network of diverse services, visit www.VolunteersofAmerica.org.

– By Mike King, National President and CEO, Volunteers of America

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