Its National Volunteer Week! Not only do we want to take this week to celebrate and thank our wonderful volunteers, but we also want to take this time to highlight the need for a continuous commitment to volunteering in order to make our community a more vibrant and prosperous place.
There are only FIVE days left of National Volunteer Week, so we have compiled some lists of FIVE to give you inspiration and ideas to not only last you for the rest of the week, but for the whole year!
Five of our Favorite Volunteer Quotes
1. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Mahatma Gandhi
2. “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” -Winston Churchill
3. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
4. “Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.” -Sherry Anderson
5. “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” -Theodore Roosevelt
Five Facts about Volunteering
1. Studies have found a direct correlation between volunteering and better health, including lower mortality rates.
2. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012, 23% men said they volunteered, while 30% of women said they volunteered.
3. The estimated value of a volunteer hour is $22.77 in Illinois, according to the Independent Sector.
4. A majority of people say that they began volunteering because somebody asked.(Take this as us asking YOU to volunteer!
5. Youth whose parents volunteer are 3 times more likely to volunteer regularly themselves. And those who volunteer as youth are twice as likely to continue volunteering when they are older.
Five Famous Volunteers
1. Walt Disney, volunteer ambulance driver with the Red Cross in France during WWI
2. Ben Franklin, founded the first public library and organized the first volunteer firehouse in Philadelphia, PA
3. Chris Matthews, Peace Corps Alumn
4. Ray Magliozzi (Car Talk co-host with brother Tom Magliozzi), AmeriCorps VISTA Alumn
5. Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, Volunteered in the D.C. community during MLK Day of Service each year
Five Ways to Volunteer
1. Pick a place to volunteer once a month with your group of friends, coworkers (get the whole office involved!), roommates, family, significant other, etc. If you or your group have a specific interest, build a relationship with an organization and volunteer at that same place once a month (or however often you can). Or, pick a new organization each month to learn about and to volunteer your time.
2. Plan ahead to volunteer on certain national days/weeks of service. Any day is a good day to volunteer, but a few great times to volunteer are: Martin Luther King Day of Service (January), National Volunteer Week (April), 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, Make a Difference Day (October), Thanksgiving Thursday or the weekend before/after, throughout the Winter holidays. Think about volunteering on other special days. Do a volunteer project as a birthday celebration or during a company anniversary or special event.
3. Take a service trip in place of a traditional vacation. There are many programs and organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, which will help you plan a week long volunteer trip. See new places, meet new people and do good for a community in need! Or, find a local organization to help out during your week off. It will still be a vacation from your ordinary schedule and you’ll have the opportunity to meet some new people in your area while serving those in need!
4. Are you retired? Do you know somebody who is? Volunteer your time once or twice a week in place of work. No need to volunteer full time, but it is a great way to stay social and know you are making an impact in your society.
5. Are you about to graduate, retire, or switch careers? Think about taking a year to volunteer for your community. AmeriCorps or SeniorCorps is a great place to start, but there are many programs domestically and internationally that ask for individuals to make a full year commitment. Some may give you a living stipend, while others may ask you to fundraise prior to your year of service.