June 2021 Letter from the President

Who is a Volunteer?  

A person who freely offers to perform a service for others.

V A Voice

O An Organizer

L A Liaison

U A Unifier

N A Needs Assessor

T A Trainer

E An Energetic Manager

E An Enthusiastic Supporter

R A Recruiter

Many may not realize, but the board members and committee chairs of AAFSW are all volunteers. On an annual basis, we clock over 3600 personal hours. Those hours are consumed by planning programs, the annual Art and Book Fair, SOSA awards, advocating for family members, and much, much more. We are the volunteer organization for the Foreign Affairs Community.  

Sadly, for the second year in a row, AAFSW is unable to host its annual luncheon to thank our volunteers because of the pandemic. I want to say THANK YOU to those we cannot see in person this year. Many of these volunteers work tirelessly throughout the year preparing for the annual Art and BookFair. AAFSW is hopeful we will host the Art and BookFair in person in October. Did you know AAFSW needs 30-40 volunteers during the year to sort books, price books, box books, and assess art, handicrafts and jewelry too? In order to have a successful Art and BookFair in October, AAFSW needs 100 volunteers to set up, work during the event, re-stock and break down the event. If you’re interested in volunteering this fall, please contact AAFSW at office@aafsw.org.

AAFSW will continue to honor overseas volunteers with the next group of recipients of the Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA). The deadline for nominations was April 30, 2021 and AAFSW received 18 nominations from across all six regional bureaus. This month, the SOSA selection committee will meet to discuss the amazing work our community is doing overseas and select recipients for the SOSA award. I urge you to support SOSA and volunteer efforts by other members of the Foreign Service community abroad. To learn more about SOSA, visit https://www.aafsw.org/secretary-of-state-awards-for-outstanding-volunteerism-abroad/ 

Lara Center, AAFSW President