Volunteers are a major lifeline for a nonprofit. They are representatives, supporters and donors. Keeping a volunteer engaged is like locking in a friend for life. As a nonprofit, how can we do that on a small and intimate scale?

Let’s take football receiver gloves for example. Yes, receiver gloves! Part of the ‘everyday’ for our team is to sort through sports equipment based on requests from the programs we work with. Once a program has been granted their equipment request, our job is to pack everything up and ship it out the door, including football receiver gloves. We hosted ten volunteers to sort through these gloves and get them packed in time for our daily FedEx pickup.

“My fundraising and the organization became tangible,” recalled Dorota Strzelecki. “I was able to show my donors that their contributions make a difference. It gave everyone a sense of ownership of the organization.”

Strzelecki is one of our Boston Marathon runners, so she knows about working hard. One of her goals – other than finishing a marathon – is to fundraise for Good Sports while she trains. Having Strzelecki (and her awesome two children) and the rest of our volunteers pack up sports gear created an additional appreciation for our mission. And it helped our team find a new way to show volunteers how much they mean to us.

“I can still remember looking out the window from my family’s one-bedroom apartment in New Jersey, seeing kids of all ages getting into trouble,” Strzelecki continued. “I think about how different some of those kids’ lives might have been if, instead of hanging out aimlessly on the playground, they had the chance to play – baseball, basketball, football or anything.”

Our supporters have rallied behind us for a reason: they believe in our goals. By hosting volunteer events, we present a more tangible way to connect with Good Sports. This is how we create depth in our relationships with volunteers and donors. If they can experience our passion – rather than just hear about it – then we’ve established a new layer of support.

All in all, our volunteers packed up 9,300 pairs of receiver gloves that were sent out to benefit youth programs in over five cities. That total amount of donated receiver gloves came to $474,300!

Even Strzeckli’s young son, Aleks, was infatuated with the process: “I guess all this running around was worth it!”

If you’re interested in volunteering with Good Sports, sign up to get notifications about upcoming events right here.