National Volunteer Week
April 15-21, 2012, is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. It’s about demonstrating to the nation that by working together, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals. Compassion, service, empathy, understanding...combine these words with privilege, talent, skill, energy...and you have a composite picture of the heart and soul of many volunteers. These elements tell us much more than a
head shot or group photo ever could.
Volunteers come in every age, size, shape, and race. They're impossible to profile; crossing boundaries of geographic location, income level, educational attainment, philosophical mindset, and religious persuasion. Some sort through e-mail databases to keep donors abreast of charitable developments. Others provide their legal, financial, promotional, management and training skills on a pro-bono basis. Still more change sickbeds, lend an ear, hold anxious hands, and yes, ladle soup and prepare sandwiches in "soup kitchens" across the country.
National Volunteer Week celebrates a myriad of vastly different individuals with two things in common: a concern for others and the tenacity to turn their concern into proactive volunteerism. "Volunteers Inspire by Example," is a fitting theme for this year's National Volunteer Week, happening in April. Event organizers feel the theme, "reflects the power volunteers have to inspire not only other people to volunteer but also the people they serve."
National Volunteer Week was created by President Richard Nixon's executive order in 1974. Three decades of subsequent Presidents have continued the tradition of "celebrating and recognizing the power and spirit volunteers give back to this country."
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