Love was certainly in the air this Valentine's Day, and the Learning Ally community made sure to share it far and wide! In a heartwarming event called Share the Love, the Volunteer Nation Community and the Learning Ally Educator Community joined forces for the second year to spread love and appreciation to educators.
With the help of nearly 50 employees and volunteers, Volunteer Nation community members were paired up with educators and tasked with sending them a special valentine. Led by Learning Ally’s Elizabeth Zwerg and Maria Lelie, the event was born from a desire to bring much-needed TLC to educators at a time when morale is low and attrition is high.
Zwerg, a former educator, knows firsthand that this time of year can be tough for teachers as they slog through testing season and anxiously await the warmer months. That's why the Share the Love event is so important: to show educators that they are valued and appreciated for the transformative work they do every day. And WOW, did the love and connection flow!
Volunteers went all out to create special packages for their matched educators, complete with ribbons, chocolates, bows, original poems, and love letters. “We are so grateful for our community of volunteers and their endless energy to spread joy and support wherever they can,” says Lelie.
Hundreds of emails flooded in from excited volunteers like Kelly Lucero, who couldn't wait to deliver her special goodies to their assigned educator, and educators like Amy Burns, who stated, “I've been teaching for almost 30 years, so please hear me...I appreciate being appreciated! I'm such a fan of Learning Ally and promote it all of the time. The webinars are awesome! I learn and apply things after every single one of them! Learning Ally is what teachers need like we've never needed before.”
Of course, the event wasn't just about material gifts. Volunteers also sent e-cards and heartfelt messages to educators all over the world, including those as far away as Ecuador. The impact of all that love was palpable: as Dr. Terrie Noland, VP of Educator Initiatives at Learning Ally, says, "Love Boomerangs!"
The Share the Love event demonstrated just how much love can come back to us when we put it out into the world.
It's no surprise that the event was a huge success. In just two short years, more than 130 matches have been made between volunteers and educators. Even the Executive Leadership Team at Learning Ally got in on the fun this year, with each member matched to their own Educator Community Ambassador.
Margaret Mead said, "Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world."
That's exactly what the Learning Ally community has done with the Share the Love event. By coming together to show their appreciation for educators, they've made a real difference in the lives of those who dedicate themselves to shaping the minds of the next generation. Love really does have the power to change the world, and the Learning Ally Communities and staff are leading the charge when it comes to building relationships and creating connections.
Written by: Maria Lelie & Elizabeth Zwerg