LWVUS President Elisabeth MacNamara at the Shur Fellow Training

“The price these women were willing to pay for the right to vote was everything they had, including the air that they breathed.”

These were the words that stuck with me the most from the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial guest speaker (and fellow League member!) at the Ruth S. Shur Fellow Training Institute. Considering all of the inspirational and moving words that were spoken during the course of the weekend, that is saying something.

Now, during National Volunteer Week, I find myself thinking about those words again; those volunteers that we owe so much. That sort of passionate volunteer mentality is in the League history, it’s in our blood. And I see it every day when I come to work and interact with the state and local Leagues across the country.

As I am still relatively new to the League, I saw it in person for one of the first times at the Shur Fellow training, where dozens of volunteers give their time and great amounts of energy to make sure that the League has the capacity to have as great a future as we did a past. And they do it with a smile on their faces and a deep-seated belief that they are making a difference.

So thank you to all of the volunteers! Thank you to the volunteers who do the programmatic work registering voters and working on voter guides and candidate forums, thank you to the capacity builders, and thank you to all of you that do a little bit (or a lot) of everything!

As we continue our march towards 2020 and our 100th anniversary, I know we can keep the spirit of volunteerism alive to face the coming challenges to our democracy head on and with the fire that is so prevalent in the League’s history.

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