TAVA Member Spotlight
Name: Richard Steinecke
Organization: Oasis Dufferin Community Centre
Role: President and Board Chair
Involved with Volunteer Engagement initiatives for: 15+ years
Been a part of TAVA for: one month
"Never give up on volunteers who are going through a difficult time. Simply being there for them when they are ready to return can result in restored relationships and valuable assistance."
This is an individual experience and not a program initiative. I became
close to one of our longest serving volunteers. He had turned his life
completely around and he credited it to his involvement with Oasis. In
fact he would come with me to speak to donor groups and community events
about how Oasis had helped him. We began to rely on him extensively in
some of our programs.
However, last year he began to suffer from a
health condition and other circumstances in his life. He began to act
out with other volunteers and staff. The usual supports did not work and
his conduct worsened. Finally staff insisted he be required to take a
break from the organization. I had the difficult job of informing him.
He was upset and angry. However, I maintained contact with him. I set up
a number of meetings with him, which he agreed to attend, but then did
not show (without warning). However, I and others at Oasis persisted and
he came around from time to time during non-program hours. When he
visited us we got updates on his circumstances and offered encouragement
Over time he indicated a desire to return to help us and we set up a graduated return plan. He did not like the idea of a graduated return, but cooperated. We noticed a huge change in his attitude and now he is fully restored to us. The lesson from this is never to give up on volunteers who are going through a difficult time. Simply being there for them when they are ready to return can result in restored relationships and valuable assistance.
Watching British crime dramas on television, hence the need to get off the couch and volunteer.
Published: September 2018