A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

December 29, 2007

A Nice Surprise In The Mail

AOBA Certificate of Appreciation  Yesterday’s mail contained a large stiff white envelope addressed to me from the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA).  I wasn’t really expecting anything from AOBA but it is the time of year when we receive calendars and other promotional items in the mail from companies that we have done business with throughout the year.  So I thought maybe the envelope contained something of that nature.

Upon opening the envelope I was greeted with a Certificate of Appreciation and a lovely handwritten note from Margie Ault of the Judges Training Certification Committee (JTCC).  The Certificate of Appreciation was for my volunteering at the Oral Reasons Clinic in Shawnee, Oklahoma in October and the note from Margie was a thank you note.

It would have been too easy for AOBA just to continue business without giving too much thought to saying thank you to the volunteers who took part at the Oral Reasons Clinic.  Too often these days organizations are so busy that the little things that make the difference are neglected or forgotten, but on this occasion AOBA made the extra effort to recognize their volunteers and that gesture means a lot.

To me volunteering is always a two way street.  The organization that needs the volunteers reaps the benefits of the volunteers’ time and skills, and the volunteers usually come away from their volunteer experience having learned something new and with a greater appreciation of the work the organization does.

AOBA has historically relied on volunteers to keep the wheels of the organization turning.  It has only been in latter years that paid positions have become more common in AOBA.  The paid positions are necessary and ensure that the organization runs smoothly, after all there is a limit to the amount of time that anyone can volunteer (although I may add that there are many volunteers within AOBA who devote large amounts of their time and effort and appear to have a bottomless pit of volunteer spirit and to those people we should all be grateful).

I thoroughly enjoyed my time volunteering at the Oral Reasons Clinic.  Was it work?  Most definitely yes, but it was work that was rewarded with a lot of learning and the chance to experience just a part of what our AOBA Judges go through to obtain or maintain their certification.   My experience also gave me a greater appreciation for the work our AOBA Judges do, it is not an easy job and while the judges are paid they earn every penny of that payment during the course of an alpaca show.  Let’s face it without trained, skilled judges where would our show system be?

My Certificate of Appreciation and Thank You note will be proudly displayed in my office and to AOBA, Margie Ault and the JTCC I say thank you for taking the time to show your appreciation, it really does mean a lot.


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