Volunteers give generously of their time every day without expecting anything in return. National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 to celebrate this spirit of compassion and generosity that drives us to care for others. It also offers an opportunity to get involved and give back to your community. It’s not too late to roll up your sleeves and join in!
Looking for ways to get involved this week? Here’s what you can do:
- Join a group – Find volunteering opportunities in your community by contacting local Veterans Affairs medical centers, veterans support organizations (e.g., your local American Legion Family, United Way, Salvation Army, etc.), churches, school, parks, and more. Call, email, or reach out via social media (Facebook message, tweet) these groups, and ask how you can get involved.
- Think small – While it’s great to join a large group of volunteers, you might not be able to meet when everyone else can. Think about neighbors or other individuals who could use some extra help. Ask around to see if anyone you know needs assistance, and then offer to help (e.g., drive an elderly neighbor to a store, offer babysitting services to a military family, mow a lawn, etc.).
- Inspire others – Use social media to talk about your service project, and, hopefully, inspire others to do something similar. Share photos and a brief description of the project on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Use #NVW2017 to see what others are doing during National Volunteer Week.
- Follow up – One of the best things you can do after a volunteer project is to follow up. If you helped a neighbor, reach out to them in the future and see if they need any more help. If you worked with a group, keep in contact with the other volunteers to see if there are any future volunteer opportunities you can assist with.
Did you know?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 60 million Americans volunteered in 2015, giving an estimated $185 billion in service to their communities.
We want to know what YOU are doing for National Volunteer Week. Share in the comments below.