Volunteers are the backbone and the best kept secret of Countryside Farmers' Markets.
I would run out of fingers if I tried to count the number of times my day has been saved by volunteers.
It's hard to express the level of dedication and the ways in which they go above and beyond at our farmers' markets. And they don't even get paid. It sometimes
baffles me that they keep coming back.
Underneath it all is a foundation of passion that they all have for the mission and work of Countryside. Waking up on Saturday mornings before sunrise
to help set up the farmers' market is built in to the structure of their lives.
It is sometimes thankless work, but the markets would not run nearly as smooth and I would have pulled out all my hair if it weren't for the work that
volunteers do both in front of and behind the scenes.
Over the years, I've been hit with immense gratitude for our volunteers - to name a few moments:
Several volunteers give up their entire Saturday mornings to help staff various stations of the market: from selling cheese, to zero waste, to information booth ~ it is simply amazing to experience the crowd that humbly holds up various aspects of the market each week.
I think I am most impressed because there is often no incentive for volunteers to return other than their own desire to continue to help. When I have a day off, I am quick to devote those free hours to doing things I want to do, which makes me feel quite selfish in comparison to the Countryside volunteer.
Basically, I just wanted to shine the light on the people who keep showing up to help us do what we do (for free). I am comforted by their dedication and wisdom and every Saturday I am grateful to see their faces.