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National Volunteer Week—Celebrate People in Action

We don’t need a reason to volunteer, other than the fact that it makes us feel great. It’s a chance to help our community or a cause we truly care about. But President Nixon gave us a reason to volunteer, anyway.

In 1974, he established National Volunteer Week to put a greater emphasis on volunteering. This year the week is April 21-27.

It’s time to give a huge shout out of thanks to all of the people who volunteer to make our world a better place. Our success and the success of all nonprofit organizations depend on your contributions to our causes. Here are just a few ways to celebrate National Volunteer Week this year.

Celebrating People in Action
Not only is volunteer week a great time to raise awareness about volunteering, but it is also a great time to make a self-assessment. The theme of National Volunteer Week is to “celebrate people in action.” Are you a person of action?

Nobody’s perfect, and there’s always room for improvement. Use this formula to figure out a volunteer plan for the coming year.

Step 1: Find Your Passion
What motivates you to volunteer? Or, if you’re a volunteer newbie, what makes you want to volunteer? There’s bound to be an organization out there with the same values or passions that you have. You just have to find it.

Step 2: Evaluate Contributions
What have you done leading up until this point to help volunteer? Make a list to really understand the extent of what you’ve contributed in the last year. Write down all of the organizations you’ve helped, the frequency you contributed your time and what you accomplished. Then determine if you’re satisfied, or if you feel that you could do more.

Step 3: Identify Possible Improvements
What are you going to do to be a better volunteer? It could involve more hours spent volunteering, being more attentive during volunteer hours or simply finding a new passion where you devote your time. Then next year during National Volunteer Week you can see if you’ve accomplished those goals. Write them down and hold yourself accountable.

You Can Be a Star (Yes, You!)
You’re just one person. So it’s not like you could make a huge difference, right? Imagine if everybody had that same way of thinking. But if people banded together to offer whatever services they could, a huge change could ignite.

“Our nation has been profoundly shaped by ordinary Americans who have volunteered their time and energy to overcome extraordinary challenges,” President Barack Obama said.

All it takes is that one little spark to start a fire of change. So, get out in the community and help spread the word about your volunteer passions so people want to help you give back.

To This Week, And Beyond
While the week is a great reminder to volunteer, it doesn’t have to be the end. Take your volunteering beyond the week of April 21-27. Use this week as a starting point for your future endeavors.

We can also come together in the future to volunteer and to better the world around us. Nothing beats the feeling you get when you know that you’ve helped make a difference in someone’s life. And volunteering has a chain reaction. You might also end up changing your own.

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