INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER DAY FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Also referred to as International Volunteer Day (IVD), December 5th celebrates people and organizations who volunteer their time and energy to improve the lives of others. Along with recognizing volunteers, this day also aims to invigorate volunteerism.
Every act of volunteerism is an act of kindness. It’s a way to pay it forward without expecting anything in return. It’s a gesture of peace and goodwill. Volunteers genuinely understand the saying, “it’s more blessed to give than to receive.” Have you ever wondered what our world would be like without volunteers? They often act as a voice for the voiceless. Volunteers lend a helping hand to those in desperate need. Volunteers keep charities and nonprofits going strong.
Besides helping others, there are other benefits of volunteering. Volunteerism is good for your health. Along with strengthening the body, volunteerism improves mood and lessens stress. People who volunteer even have a better chance of gaining employment.
There are 970 million volunteers throughout the world. Even though there are millions of volunteers, the world could always use more!
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalVolunteerDay
Do you volunteer? If so, take the time to reflect on the achievements of your organization. How can it continue to have a positive impact on your community? If you don’t volunteer, seek out a service organization and learn more about them. Offer your time or skills. There are thousands of service organizations with a variety of needs. If you’re not sure where to get started, most communities need volunteers in these areas:
- Food pantries
- Local libraries
- Animal rescue shelters
- National parks
- Retirement homes
There are also websites designed to help you find volunteer opportunities in your area. A few sites include VolunteerMatch.org and AllForGood.org If you want to volunteer abroad, the best countries to do so include Peru, Australia, Puerto Rico, and South Africa.
To share this day on social media, use #InternationalVolunteerDay.
INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER DAY HISTORY
In 1985, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the resolution for International Volunteer Day. The day has provided opportunities for organizations, governments, foundations, and individuals to set and obtain goals and to recognize the efforts of volunteers from all walks of life.
Each year the U.N. chooses a specific theme that focuses on different aspects of volunteerism. Recent topics have included:
- 2019: Volunteer for an inclusive future.
- 2018: Volunteers build resilient communities.
- 2017: Volunteers Act First
- 2016: Global Applause – give volunteers a hand.
- 2015: Your world is changing. Are you? Volunteer!