Sign me up for updates. Sign up now

Donate Take Action

Return to Mei Cobb's Profile

Volunteering, Service and Democracy

Volunteers have shaped the U.S. since its founding and continue to contribute to its protection and prosperity. Benjamin Franklin believed that citizen service was essential to our democracy and founded our country’s first volunteer fire agency. Clara Barton led volunteers to help the wounded in the Civil War and later created the American Red Cross. Jane Addams’ settlement house movement led to significant social reforms for the urban poor.

Volunteer and Celebrate Older Americans

Did you know that older adults are at a much higher risk of unintentional injury than the rest of the population? You can help seniors live more stable and healthier lives by volunteering with United Way throughout the year but especially in May, which is Older Americans Month.

What Kind of Social Change Agent Are You?

When it comes to advancing the common good, are you a Purposeful Participant, a Social Change Spectator, or something else altogether? And if you work with volunteers, would you like to know more about Ultracommitted Change-Makers and others who are likely to get involved with your cause?

Volunteer to Thank Teachers

Whether your teachers sparked an interest in something that turned into your career, inspired a lifelong love of reading, or encouraged you when you faltered, teachers deserve our appreciation every day. Here are a few ideas for saying thank you to teachers that you and other volunteers could consider doing during National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 5-9, 2014.

Volunteers Can Bring “Tears of Joy” During Tax Season

Preparing tax returns can be stressful, but for a special group of people, tax season is a joyful time of year. Free tax-preparation programs for eligible people rely on volunteers from January through “Tax Day” to help maximize tax benefits and incentives for families who could use a boost.

Kids Volunteer to Change the World

You don't need to wait until you grow up to change the world. Children and teens are creating change every day by volunteering. On Global Youth Service Day, April 11-13, 2014, 800+ partners—United Ways, schools, youth organizations, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, volunteer and national service programs, government agencies, and other individuals—are coming together to activate young people to improve their communities. 

United Way Celebrates National Volunteer Week

Volunteers are an essential part of United Way’s work to advance the common good. During National Volunteer Week, April 6-12, 2014, we celebrate hundreds of thousands of United Way volunteers across the U.S. Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week focuses national attention on the impact and power of volunteering and service as an integral aspect of our civic leadership.

Con Voluntarios, Sí Se Puede. With Volunteers, It Can Be Done.

Cesar Chavez founded the United Farm Workers union and fought for the rights of voiceless and disenfranchised working men and women. U.S. cities and counties have declared March 31 a holiday in honor of this great American, and Cesar Chavez Day is an official state holiday in Arizona, California, Colorado and Texas.