Six Reasons We Can’t Go A Day Without Volunteers

As National Volunteer Week is coming up I would like to pose the question: What would the world look like without volunteers?  What many fail to realize is that they often cross paths with volunteers, at least once if not several times a day. Volunteers help meet both basic and significant societal needs. Imagine a day with volunteer firefighters, tutors, vet assistants, pastors, coaches or hospital aides absent. And what would our parks, libraries, beaches or highways look like without volunteers giving their time to keep things organized, clean, and beautiful? If you don’t think volunteers taking one day off would make a difference, you would certainly notice after a year, month or even week if they ceased to show up in the city, state, and nation! The 2011 Social Impact of Volunteering Report by the Points of Light Institute discusses how volunteering makes a remarkable social impact on society. Here are some of their important findings: 1. Volunteering bridges the gap between the people and different sectors like governments and businesses There are so many nonprofit organizations thriving off of volunteer work that fills a need for people where the government or businesses may be unable to intervene. Many voluntary organizations either share information with local government and community leaders to lobby for specific programs or seek volunteers who genuinely care about the stakeholders involved.  For example, as a caring volunteer you could provide services to senior citizens and individuals with disabilities with the nonprofit A Helping Hand. Volunteers fill the void that local and federal programs like social security are unable to fill by meeting basic needs like...

The Five Love Languages of Volunteerism

Valentine’s Day is upon us. Chocolate, flowers and pink-shaded-everything has been everywhere since the second day of the new year. Of course these tangible gifts are meant to represent the affection we have for the important people in our lives. We take the time to do things for them based on their likes and dislikes – maybe your partner enjoys fuzzy animals that dance and sing random love songs and they know that you appreciate a night out for dinner. If you think about it, the process of choosing a nonprofit to volunteer with is simply finding an organization to give to based on your likes and dislikes. Let’s say you would like to spend your Valentine’s Day volunteering. You may first consider your interests- maybe you’re into art or cooking. Would you rather work with kittens, or young people? From there your choice may depend on what you will be doing. Perhaps a project requires graphic design or knitting skills. You may take into consideration the flexibility of the event; Is this an ongoing project? Will it be face to face? There are so many questions that go on in the back of your mind that you may not even realize! A method some couples use to pinpoint each other’s likes and dislikes is a quiz called the 5 Love Languages assessment. As someone eager to help the community you too can figure out what kind of organization fits your philanthropic soul. Based on the best selling book by Gary Chapman, the 5 Love Languages quiz evaluates your answers and classifies you as someone who appreciates Words of...