December 5th is International Volunteer Day. Established in 1985 by the United Nations, International Volunteer Day is a chance to celebrate and thank volunteers worldwide, and increase awareness of the value of volunteers. As a worldwide network mobilizing millions to Give, Advocate and Volunteer, United Way celebrates this day along with companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and community groups from Scotland to Australia, Japan to Saudi Arabia.
For example, in Cambodia, on International Volunteer Day volunteers can participate in the 3rd Annual Forum on Volunteers and learn about how to develop skills through volunteering. The Volunteer Engagement Network in Nigeria is staging a similar event called VOLUNTEERISM-Bridging the Competence Gap. The purpose of the event is to equip the volunteers with valuable soft and life skills to help them appreciate the value and importance of volunteering. The event also will recognize and give credit to young people who volunteer, which will help encourage them to be life-long volunteers. In Wales, a volunteer is launching a Facebook group as a youth forum for Welsh heritage to encourage participation and volunteering. In Saudi Arabia, a team called "Volunteering Ambassadors" will disseminate brochures to help build awareness about volunteering and build a culture of volunteering, and also will engage in the work of cleaning mosques.
It is heartening to know that volunteering is thriving around the world. Only through volunteers, and the spirit of helping one another, will we advance the common good. Through volunteering, throughout the world, we can LIVE UNITED.