National Volunteer Week
by Hilary Amedy
National Volunteer Week began in 1974 when President Nixon signed an executive order establishing the week as an annual celebration of volunteering. Since then, every U.S. President has signed a proclamation promoting National volunteer Week. Governors, mayors and other elected officials also make public statements and sign proclamations in support of National Volunteer Week.
Volunteers are one of country’s most important assets. More than 62 million people volunteered last year, donating approximately 8 billion hours to non-profits.
During National Volunteer Week we would like to thank all the folks who have volunteered their time and talents to improve our community. LUK volunteers donate their time selflessly by serving as mentors, LUK Board members, Mentoring Advisory Board members, as members of Community Action teams, assist with trainings, and helping with fundraising events. Mentors alone average 4,000 hours per year with LUK mentees.
People volunteer for many reasons from wanting to give back to the community, make a difference, gain new skills or to meet new people. We know how volunteers help non-profits but volunteers benefit from volunteering as well. People who volunteer can increase their self-confidence, self-esteem and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Thinking of becoming a volunteer? See the following list of reasons that will help you make up your mind. (UC San Diego 9500 Gilman Dr. La Jolla, CA 92093 Copyright ©2016 Regents of the University of California.)
#10: It's good for you.
Volunteering provides physical and mental rewards. It:
- Reduces stress: Experts report that when you focus on someone other than yourself, it interrupts usual tension-producing patterns.
- Makes you healthier: Moods and emotions, like optimism, joy, and control over one's fate, strengthen the immune system.
#9: It saves resources.
Volunteering provides valuable community services so more money can be spent on local improvement
- The estimated value of a volunteer's time is $15.39 per hour.
#8: Volunteers gain professional experience.
- You can test out a career.
#7: It brings people together.
As a volunteer you assist in:
- Uniting people from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common goal
- Building camaraderie and teamwork
#6: It promotes personal growth and self-esteem.
- Understanding community needs helps foster empathy and self-efficacy.
#5: Volunteering strengthens your community.
As a volunteer you help:
- Support families (daycare, eldercare)
- Improve schools (tutoring, literacy)
- Support youth (mentoring and after-school programs)
- Beautify the community (beach and park cleanups)
#4: You learn a lot.
Volunteers learn things like these:
- Self: Volunteers discover hidden talents that may change your view on your self-worth.
- Government: Through working with local non-profit agencies, volunteers learn about the functions and operation of our government.
- Community: Volunteers gain knowledge of local resources available to solve community needs.
#3: You get a chance to give back.
- People like to support community resources that they use themselves or that benefit people they care about.
#2: Volunteering encourages civic responsibility.
- Community service and volunteerism are an investment in our community and the people who live in it.
#1: You make a difference.
“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you haven’t been in bed with a mosquito!” (Anita Roddick, The Body Shops)