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The panel coordinator
is responsible for ongoing speaker appreciation. The steering committee or task
force may wish to organize an annual appreciation event. The speakers and other
volunteers benefit significantly from ongoing encouragement as well as a larger
annual appreciation event.
for ongoing recognition include:
- Snacks or a light
meal after each presentation (also a time to debrief)
- Personal thank
you notes after each presentation
- Regular phone calls
- Personalized cups
or mugs for the panel table
- Special pins
- Audiotapes of each
- Copies of especially
positive or meaningful evaluations
- Occasional thank
you letters to spouses and children of speakers for time the speakers are
away from their families
- Appreciation articles
or Letters to the Editor in local newspapers
for annual appreciation events include:
- A "Just Desserts"
night for panel speakers, volunteers and their families in which fancy desserts
are served. Decorate the room beautifully and colorfully. Corsages and boutonnieres
or cut flowers for each volunteer could be considered. Florists may donate
larger floral arrangements for drawings. Give certificates of appreciation,
which include hours contributed to panel programs.
- A full banquet
to include criminal justice professionals as well as volunteers. Speeches
should be kept to a minimum and should focus on appreciation for the contributions
of the volunteers. Each speaker might be asked to recall one or two panel
speakers who particularly moved him or her. Give appreciation certificates.
- A "Turned Tables"
event at which offenders who were particularly moved by panel presentations
form a panel to tell how hearing a panel changed their lives. This event will
require the support of probation officers and also may involve screening on
the part of the panel coordinator. It might also include a report on recidivism
studies comparing offenders who did and did not hear a panel. Done well, this
event may be most meaningful to volunteers.
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