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National Volunteer Month in April celebrates the impact volunteers have on our lives and encourages active volunteerism in generations to come. Most often unpaid, they generously donate a part of their lives to do the work that nobody else likes to do — cleaning up after the event, fostering shelter dogs, chaperoning field trips, or helping the librarian; there are so many areas requiring volunteers. This month, we salute them for their unwavering services to businesses and communities and hold aloft their examples to inspire young and adults towards volunteerism.
History of National Volunteer Month
Volunteers are so special that they ought to be honored throughout the year, after every service that they volunteer to. National Volunteer Month is an extension to an already-established holiday-week, National Volunteer Week that was first held in 1943 in Canada. The week was dedicated to paying tribute to the unwavering contributions of women during World War II who would collect supplies and help the wounded soldiers. It was in the early 20th century that organized volunteering reached its peak. Numerous groups opened up to escalate humanitarian services, many of which are still active today such as the Red Cross.
Once the war was over, the celebrations were damped down but resurged in the early 1970s. National Volunteer Week debuted in 1974 in the United States and was revered by the general public. Since then, National Volunteer Week, which later went on to become National Volunteer Month, has been celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm every April. It was made official worldwide in 1990.
Presidents of the United States throughout the years have proclaimed National Volunteer Week and Month, saluting the unparalleled services of the volunteers who have given countless hours for the betterment of mankind, communities, and the American way of life.
National Volunteer Month timeline
Canada holds the first-ever National Volunteer Week to celebrate the volunteering services of the women in WWII.
National Volunteer Week and Month is first held in the United States.
In response to President Bush’s proclamation, Points of Light is founded to resolve serious social problems through voluntary services.
The award is created to allow certified organizations to recognize individuals with bronze, silver, and gold awards based on their yearly contribution to volunteering.
National Volunteer Month FAQs
When did volunteering start?
The act of humanitarian service is traced back to WWII and the Civil War where women volunteered for wounded army soldiers.
Does volunteering help the country?
Absolutely yes. Besides helping you, volunteerism contributes to the economy, builds a safer and stronger community, and promotes civic engagement.
When is the National Volunteer Week 2021?
National Volunteer Week is April 18-24 this year.
How to Observe National Volunteer Month
Volunteer at an organization
Nonprofits receive an overwhelming number of requests in April, so if you can’t get a spot in, don’t push the idea away. Sign up for volunteering for some other month this year – but make sure you do volunteer!
Throw an appreciation volunteers’ party
They truly deserve the honor. Plan a party for all the volunteers you know at a wacky place, like a coffee shop, and bring in some surprises. Make sure your recognized volunteers don’t even get up to get their drinks. Find volunteers to volunteer!
Celebrate it on social media
Whether you are volunteering this month or remembering some great volunteers of the past (and present), share pictures and tell your story using the hashtag #NationalVolunteersMonth.
5 Facts About Volunteering That Will Blow Your Mind
Volunteering makes people happy
96% of the volunteers believe that volunteering makes them happier persons and they answer questions more positively if they’ve recently volunteered.
It contributes $200 to Australia’s economy
Talk about banking on volunteers. According to a study, volunteers are contributing more than $200 to the Australian economy.
It leads to better job opportunities
Volunteering takes you to places and tells you about vocations you’ve never heard of before. Not to mention the excellent impression it makes on your CVs!
It reduces depression
With feelings of happiness, empathy, and brighter job prospects, it’s no doubt studies reveal that volunteering significantly lowers levels of depression.
Millions of nonprofits
There are 1.8 million non-profit organizations in the United States alone, so the opportunity to volunteer is close to never-ending.
Why We Love National Volunteer Month
It fills critical gaps in service
Without volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to host events or held programs as easily as we do today. Since most of these events are extremely important for communities and businesses, volunteers fill a critical gap in service.
Americans volunteer 8.8 billion hours annually
With such a massive amount of time donated for the greater cause, all non-volunteers owe this month to celebrate 30-days of appreciation to volunteering efforts.
It inspires us to volunteer
Thousands of aspiring volunteers have emerged for decades during April. Driven by the admiration they receive during National Volunteer Month every year, they are excited to become part of the month, too!
National Volunteer Month dates