Reflecting on National Volunteer Appreciation Month:
Challenge Mountain Celebrates Volunteers Every Single Day!
Spring may be the perfect time to celebrate volunteerism with recognition like National Volunteer Appreciation Month. But at Challenge Mountain, “we celebrate volunteers every single day,” shares Executive Director Elizabeth Looze. “Our volunteers bring value to each aspect of Challenge Mountain—from the Resale Store to adaptive recreational programs,” she adds.
In 2022 alone, over 40 Challenge Mountain Resale Store volunteers accumulated 10,693 hours of time by accepting and sorting donations, stocking racks and shelves, creating displays, assisting shoppers, and keeping the store tidy. The Challenge Mountain Resale Store is a major funding source for the organization’s adaptive year-round recreational programming.
Independent Sector is an organization that “…gathers data and conducts research on volunteerism in the nonprofit sector. The results of that research provide nonprofits a way to calculate the value of volunteer time.” Considering talent level, wage, benefits, and other payroll factors, Independent Sector estimated value of each volunteer hour in the state of Michigan at $30.15, over a 6% increase from 2021 to 2022. “Though our rural community average is likely lower, this definitely helps to quantify the enormous value our volunteers bring to Challenge Mountain,” expresses Looze.
“The Challenge Mountain adaptive snowsports program would not be possible without our passionate volunteers who dedicated 932 hours during our January – March 2023 ski season,” explains Program Director Linda Armstrong. Of the 49 winter volunteers, fifteen were Charlevoix County Community Foundation Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) members. “YAC members benefit from an opportunity to share outdoor activities with our diverse participant population,” adds Armstrong. “And our participants love their help and enthusiasm.”
With the help of volunteers, Challenge Mountain provides amazing, year-round opportunities to children, youth and adults living with both physical and cognitive disabilities. These programs provide benefit far beyond the specific outing or activity—they build self-confidence, support friendships, offer new experiences, and truly enhance lives. “Our organization motto Great Things Happen Together is more than fitting because of our volunteers,” shares Armstrong.
“Challenge Mountain has an amazing network of programming and Resale Store volunteers,” Looze says. “While we continue to grow our volunteer base year after year, many have been involved with Challenge Mountain since its inception and continue to introduce new, energetic volunteers to the organization through their involvement. Challenge Mountain volunteers take great pride in their roles and create lasting friendships through their experiences.”
Interested in volunteering? Visit the Volunteer page on the WEBSITE.
ABOUT CHALLENGE MOUNTAIN
Challenge Mountain is a non-profit 501c3 organization.
Started in 1984, Challenge Mountain removes barriers and supports social inclusion through adaptive recreation for children, youth and adults living with physical and cognitive disabilities. Activities include adaptive skiing and biking, nature and cultural activities, art programs, equine therapy and numerous other life-enriching programs.