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Celebrate Volunteering in April

It is springtime in the U.S., the trees are budding and the flowers are blooming.  April is the perfect month to bring attention to volunteers and the new life they bring to their communities, whether through a yearlong commitment to national service, episodic volunteering, or  even microvolunteering.

U.S. mayors and county executives have found that national service volunteers are part of a cost-effective strategy for addressing local challenges. So, on April 7th, nearly 2,500 officials l highlighted the value of national service during the third annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. Last year, 1,760 mayors representing more than 110 million citizens participated in the event, which is led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the National League of Cities, and Cities of Service.

National Volunteer Week is from April 12-18. Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week focuses attention on the impact and power of volunteering and service and is endorsed by the President and Congress, governors, local officials, as well as corporate and community groups.United Way of the Quad Cities Area is holding its 2015 Thank You Luncheon in Bettendorf, Iowa, honoring local volunteers who improve lives by giving back. Volunteers with United Way of the Greater Triangle will help move nearly 1,000 homeless families and individuals into permanent housing in North Carolina. United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region will offer a number of volunteer projects in and around Poughkeepsie, NY, from sorting food bank donations, to assembling hygiene kits, to helping revitalize a school.

Even those who cannot participate in national service or more traditional  volunteer activities can get involved during National Volunteer Week. Microvolunteering Day is April 15th, a day when everyone can take ten minutes to do something positive. Microvolunteering entails small, immediate actions to benefit a worthy cause, e.g., answering online questions from students in underserved communities seeking advice on careers and education, or clicking on charities’ websites to help raise money to feed the hungry – at no cost to the microvolunteer. Check out other microvolunteering ideas at Help From Home.

Whether you volunteer through national service, or once a week, or just once a year, National Volunteer Week is for you. United Way thanks you for lending a hand to advance the common good. LIVE UNITED.