VANtage: December 2017

Written by nlyons29 on . Posted in Home Page


This year, my wife and I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time at our house. We’ve been increasingly responsible for the meal over the last few years, and we decided that instead of bringing the turkey to the guests, this year the guests could come to the turkey. It was a small group, just five of us, but family coming together to enjoy each other’s company and complain about Lions and Browns football is what the fourth Thursday of November is all about.

For me, Thanksgiving is a much more relaxing holiday than Christmas, even with my nervous energy surrounding the composition of the pumpkin pie and the bringing of the turkey. There’s so much more expected around Christmas, and juggling the gifts and the parties and the family expectations has become a consistent stress on our December. There was talk in our house a few years ago about skipping the festivities altogether and flying somewhere warm, just the two of us, but the pull of the familial bonds were too strong.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. At the food pantry, our clients are just as worried about putting together the perfect holiday for their families as I am. I can sometimes see the exhaustion on the faces of the volunteers as they come for their shifts. Not to be too much of a Linus, but have the stresses, the commercialism, and the drive to have the most Norman Rockwell-like holiday driven us to the edge?

This year, I’m striving for a more relaxed holiday. I didn’t add anything new to the light display on the house. I’m not listening to the holiday music on the radio (even though I love Bing Crosby). I don’t even have the tree up yet. Maybe the stress of the season will hit me as we get closer to December 25, but I’m focused on providing a quiet, low-stress holiday season for my family and my volunteers. I hope that however you celebrate the holidays, yours may be warm and peaceful.

Nick Linkenhoker
VAN Central Ohio President


Each year VAN recognizes individuals and corporations that make a profound impact in our community through volunteerism. Please consider nominating an individual or organization for one or all of the categories outlined below.
The deadline for nominations is Friday, December 15.

Mary Merrill Award of Excellence
The Mary Merrill Award of Excellence annually recognizes a Central Ohio professional Administrator of Volunteers for his or her outstanding contributions to the field and the promotion of volunteerism in the community. Any individual who manages volunteers in a public, corporate or non-profit organization is eligible and can be nominated. Self-nominations are also accepted. Mary Merrill Award nomination form.

Corporate Champion Award
The Corporate Champion award recognizes for-profit organizations that promote, recognize, and have a commitment to employee volunteerism. It is presented annually to an organization that demonstrates excellence in community service through volunteerism at all levels of its workforce. Self-nominations are welcome. Corporate Champion Award nomination form.

Executive Leader Award
The Executive Leader award recognizes a high level leader in an organization for their support of their organization’s volunteer program. The nominee respects and values the work of the Volunteer Dept. staff and volunteers, ensures money is available for volunteer program management, and acknowledges the importance of volunteers within the organization. Executive Leader Award nomination form.


VAN Holiday Luncheon
Thursday, December 14
12:00-2:30 PM
1319 Polaris Parkway
Columbus, Ohio 43240

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – time for the annual VAN Holiday Luncheon! All VAN members are invited to attend this year’s celebration which will be held at Marcella’s Polaris.

Each year we choose a different local charity to learn about and support during our luncheon. This year we will be collecting donations for OSU Harding Hospital.



All memberships expired on June 30th. Please renew your membership for 2017-2018 by clicking HERE to visit the VAN website. We have some unique opportunities for networking and professional development lined up for the second half of this year and want to be sure you have continued access to these events and resources.

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