A Message from our CEO about Volunteer Appreciation Week

(April 15, 2012)

April 15-21 is  National Volunteer Appreciation Week  and the American Lung Association of the Northeast  wishes to call special attention to the many volunteers who give time and talent to further our mission of saving lives by preventing lung disease and improving lung health.    As the nation’s oldest voluntary health organization, the spirit of volunteerism lies firmly in our roots and continues to be at the core of everything we do, from clean air and tobacco control advocacy to lung health education and support.

In recognition of the fact that our volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization, we’ll be highlighting several inspiring people from throughout the Northeast in person, in hometown newspapers, on our website and on facebook and twitter during the month of April.  

As the leader of our organization, I am sometimes asked to describe a typical Lung Association volunteer; this is not easily done.  A volunteer might be a retiree working at a registration table at one of our Fight for Air Climbs; a college student circulating clean air petitions on campus; a nurse facilitating a Better Breathers Club for COPD patients; or a working professional helping with grant writing or sponsorship outreach.  Because our mission is so great, our need for a diverse team of volunteers - and our reliance on them - is also great.

Despite their many different roles, there is a common thread that binds our volunteers together and that’s their dedication to our mission through research, education and advocacy. I recently read a quote attributed to an unknown author that made me think of our volunteers, it said:  “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy.  You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”    What our volunteers all have in common is the kind of community they want to live in:  communities that have clean air and which promote healthy lungs.

So as we observe National Volunteer Appreciation Week, the Lung Association wishes to say “thank you” to our volunteers who continue to move us closer toward realizing our vision of a world free of lung disease. All Northeast residents are the beneficiaries of their important work and we are truly grateful.

To get involved or learn more about volunteer opportunities at the American Lung Association, visit lungne.org.


Jeffrey Seyler
President & CEO
American Lung Association of the Northeast