In May, SOS’s program volunteers gathered at Cultivate Coffee & TapHouse for a chance to kick up their feet and feel appreciated for the work they’ve accomplished. The sounds of conversation and laughter filled the air as people entered the outdoor tent to celebrate. Volunteers were all smiles as they mingled, grabbed nametags, and snacked on food from Ma Lou’s. “It’s nice to see the volunteers, not just together in the food pantry or wherever they’re volunteering, but actually sitting down and hanging out in a relaxed manner,” says Ava Ohlgren, SOS’s food & volunteer coordinator.  

Volunteers who may not have even met before or who work in different departments, were able to meet and talk together away from their traditional volunteer posts. In fact, Ava remembered a local African student group at Eastern Michigan University, called Relief for Africa, whose members were so excited to attend that they rushed straight from work to the volunteer event! “They were just happy to be there,” Ava said. “They always come in with a positive attitude, even though they’re going to clean a shelter, a kitchen, and a bathroom!”

Twenty-two of SOS’s amazing volunteers attended, and all were given certificates of appreciation to honor their dedication over the last year. Guests were also rewarded with free t-shirts, pins, and water bottles (all featuring an SOS logo), as well participating in a raffle. The prizes for the raffle included gifts cards to Cultivate, Zingermans, and GO Ice Cream, as well as handmade bowls. Congratulations to the lucky winners!

The day was a great success, and volunteers left with full stomachs, raffle prizes, and memories made. Sabrina Smithson, an administrative volunteer says, “memories of that day will always live within [me].”

To see pictures from this event visit the SOS Facebook Page.