On Thanksgiving, my husband and I volunteered at a local nursing home. We were not aware of our volunteer tasks before we arrived at the facility, but once we met with organizers, we were assigned to areas where help was most needed. As volunteers, we brought our own special skills and talents to completing these tasks. Whether it was serving lemonade or tea to residents and their families in the dining hall, helping to set up dining room tables with tablecloths and dishes, wheeling residents from their rooms to the dining hall, serving plates of food to the residents and their families, feeding a resident who could not manage it for himself, or just visiting with residents who did not have family with them for the Thanksgiving meal—we were put to good use.
At one point, I looked across the room to see my husband with small beads of perspiration on his forehead as he was setting up tables while juggling conversations with patients who were just wheeled into the dining hall. He had a huge smile on his face and, later when we discussed our experiences, he said he had a great time engaging the residents in conversation. Everyone there knew that every task was an important one, and there was no shortage of help because we each contributed to making Thanksgiving a special occasion for the residents and their families.
A couple of days after our volunteer experience, I read this quote:
The highest reward for a person’s work is not what they get for it, but what they become because of it. — John Ruskin
Giving your time and talent can be one of the most rewarding opportunities we will experience in our lifetime, and one unique volunteer opportunity is to become a Baldrige examiner.Baldrige examiners are an elite group of professionals who commit their knowledge, skills, and time to help evaluate applicants for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award—the only Presidential award for organizational performance excellence. Their evaluations are used by organizations for improving not only their own systems but contributing to improving the entire U.S. economy.
Examiners have the unique opportunity to explore in-depth examples of best practices, innovation, planning strategies, and ways to engage customers and the workforce—learning that helps to build their own professional acumen.
Please consider sharing your time and talent with U.S. organizations. The application process for appointment to the 2014 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners will close at 6:00 PM on January 9, 2014. We hope to see your application in the pool for selection to the board.
Please visit the Baldrige Web site to learn more about how to become a Baldrige examiner.