What is National Volunteer Week, Anyway?

Happy National Volunteer Week, to all! To many, this week may not mean much, after all, most people have other concerns whether it be getting ready for final exams, hurriedly rushing to file last minute taxes, or just the regular routine of getting the kiddos up and ready for school. Something to think about before brushing off this week as just another week, National Volunteer Week celebrates everyone!

You heard me correctly, I said EVERYONE.

National Volunteer Week first began in the United States after a Presidential Proclamation signed by President Richard Nixon in 1974. The celebration of volunteers began long before 1974, however. Canada originated the celebration in 1943 as a way to celebrate the efforts of women on the home front of the war during World War II. Now, we use National Volunteer Week to celebrate the efforts of volunteers in our community and in some way, everyone, is a volunteer. You may be thinking, “No, I don’t have time to volunteer, my kids are in a million sports and my job is a huge commitment.” Or “Volunteering takes too much time that I simply don’t have”.  Let me repeat: National Volunteer Week celebrates EVERYONE. Whether you spend 30 minutes on Sunday’s serving lunch at your church, or you volunteer to lead a carpool for kiddos from soccer practice, or maybe you do have some spare time on the weekend and simply volunteer to mow the lawn for an elderly neighbor or grandparent it all comes from the same giving place.

“Volunteers help drive our country’s progress, and day in and day out, they make extraordinary sacrifices to expand promise and possibility.  During National Volunteer Week, let us shed the cynicism that says one person cannot make a difference in the lives of others by embracing each of our individual responsibilities to serve and shape a brighter future for all.” –Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation-National Volunteer Week 2016

It is often said that volunteers are the backbone of any community, people who selflessly offer their time to impact others in a positive way.  So this week, take time to celebrate YOU and everything you do for your friends, family and community! #NationalVolunteerWeek2016