Recognition & Awards
The primary reward for volunteers is the education received and the satisfaction that they are helping their communities. Volunteers should, however, be recognized for their contributions.
The MG Program Office recognizes MGV for:
- Class and initial volunteer requirement completion (certificate, sent upon request).
- Completion of cumulative service levels. Award cards are given for completion of 150, 250, 500, and 750 hours of volunteer service. A certificate is awarded for 1000 hours, while special awards are given for higher levels. These awards are sent to the county UWEX office for local presentation, usually in November or December (after all hours have been entered into the database after annual reporting). Awards are based on records of volunteer service in the statewide database, so it is essential that MGVs turn in their hours regularly to be eligible for awards. Names of those at the higher levels are published in the WIMGA newsletter.
- Completion of 10, 15 or more years of program participation. Certificates are sent only at the special request of the local Extension office.
If you have a recognition event planned for late in the year, please send the Program Coordinator a request to be sure that these awards and certificates will be sent in time for your event.
Suggestions for Local Recognition
It is very important to recognize the volunteers in your county/association in both big and small ways, beyond what the MG Program Office can offer, to show that you appreciate their efforts and everything they do to assist you and UW-Extension.
- Say "thanks" sincerely. Tell them they did a good job - a simple pat on the back and an encouraging word does wonders!
- Personal thank you notes or cards
- Acknowledgement in group settings (regular meeting or anual recognition event) or a newsletter
- Highlight or profile one (or more) MGV in the newsletter regularly
- Arrange special Members-only events to nurseries or other places for all members in good standing (certified or recertified), requiring the MGVs to wear their name badges with the annual year sticker to attend
- Form a recognition committee to delegate some of the work of honoring MGVs (especially if a large event is involved)
Many counties or associations have award banquets or distribution of awards at a designated meeting. At these events you can:
- recognize individuals completing general training and intial hours (graduation ceremony) with a certificate and name badge
- recognize those that have completed advanced training with a certificate
- mention total hours contributed by the county/association
- offer special awards, such as for top hours in each category (Youth Education, Community Education, Support Services)
- institute a traveling trophy of some sort to honor a MGV who has done something extraordinary, passing it on to a different person each year