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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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Volunteer Center Staff is on temporary furlough with no access to email or voicemail due to Columbia Association's closure. 

Volunteer Recognition

Celebrating volunteers (and agencies that effectively manage volunteers) is so important! 

  • Spotlights individuals, groups, non-profit organizations or governmental agencies and businesses doing amazing things.

  • Shows volunteers and agencies that we sincerely appreciate what they're doing (and how they're doing it).

  • Encourages community members to discover and participate in existing opportunities to make a difference.

  • Inspires!


Volunteer Recognition Ideas

Here's a sample of the ideas posted on our facebook page for National Volunteer Month.
scroll sideways to view all



Ongoing recognition opportunities:

Certificates, Citations & Proclamations, and more.

The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism (GOSV) works with a number of partners to provide opportunities for nonprofits, businesses, and schools to honor the contributions of local volunteers. From state-wide events, like the Governor’s Service Awards to volunteer certificates awarded to individual citizens, there are many ways to recognize the extraordinary work of volunteers across Maryland. Please refer to their website for details.

Volunteer Certificates: (requires at least 3 weeks notice - more for requests of 100+)
Agencies may request up to 250 certificates. Requests are required to be submitted via an online submission form with basic information such as your contact information and the number of certificates needed.

Governor's Citations & Proclamations: (requires at least 8 weeks notice)
Citizens and organizations may request a citation or a proclamation from the Governor's Office to commemorate or recognize a person or organization's achievement or cause. Approved requests will be mailed as an oversized document to the street address provided. In-person pick-up is not available. These documents cannot be resized, emailed or reprinted for distribution. 
Please Note: The tools listed below are filled outside of the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism. Issuance of Citations and Proclamations is at the full discretion of the Governor’s Office, and they reserve the right to deny any request for ceremonial documents at the discretion of the Correspondence and Constituent Services Office. 


Annual recognition opportunities:


AARP Purpose Prize - AARP

A national award that celebrates people 50 and older who are using their life experience to make a difference and and celebrates the creativity, innovation, and inspiration that life experience brings.

Deadline for nomination submission March 31, 2020.

For more information go to

ACS Humanitarian Awards - Association of Community Services of Howard County

Nominations are accepted for Employee Individual of the Year, Employee Team of the Year, Volunteer Individual of the Year, Volunteer Team of the Year, and Business of the Year.  Deadline is usually end of January. For more information go to
2020 Nomination Form Nomination deadline - February 13, 2020.

Read about the wonderful volunteers that have been honored in the past and their contributions to our community.

Governor's Service Awards - Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism

For details on categories and nomination applications
go to‚Äč.

(GOSV) Youth Service Awards - Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism

For details on categories and nomination applications
go to

NGen Leadership Award - Independent Sector

Each year, Independent Sector presents the American Express NGen Leadership Award to one emerging changemaker, age 40 and under, who has demonstrated transformative social impact through collaborative leadership.

For more information go to

Spirit Of Columbia Scholarship Award – Columbia Association

Up to six $2,500 scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors from local high schools who have shown a history of providing community service to benefit Columbia residents and those in the Columbia area. For more than 25 years, Columbia Association (CA) has been recognizing high school seniors for outstanding service to their community.

For details, eligibility requirements and application go to Completed applications must be submitted by March 15th. For more information, call 410-715-3161 or email


Simple Recognition Ideas

  • Confirm their service hours at
  • Greet Volunteer by Name
  • Express appreciation for completed tasks in person, by text, email or facebook post
  • Send a card - snail-mail or email - have note signed by Executive Director
  • Clarify how volunteer service makes a difference 
  • Appreciation events
  • Take a volunteer to lunch
  • E-newsletter, annual report shout-outs
  • Nominate for County or State Recognition
  • Small gifts or treats




Volunteer Center

6310 Hillside Ct.
Columbia, MD 21046