Time isn’t always money- especially when it’s donated.
Volunteers are more than just soccer moms and retirees heading up bake sales, PTA meetings and being the greeting committee at social functions. They are also CEO’s, accountants, celebrities, community leaders, activists and just about any profession or background you can imagine. Not to say that one is more important than the other, as they are ALL impactful in different ways and are indeed a well-oiled machine when their “forces” are combined.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013, the main organizations for which the volunteer worked the most hours during the year were most frequently religious (33.0 percent of all volunteers), followed by educational or youth service related (25.6 percent) and social or community service organizations (14.7 percent). These volunteers do it for various reasons and they all contribute to helping society function.
Here are some areas where volunteers are changing the world:
You can attribute your favorite (or least favorite) politician’s win to the hard work put in by the volunteers on his staff. Yes, volunteers! Whether local or national, political campaigns require time, energy and commitment and who better to provide that than that candidates most supporters. Localvictory.com is the web’s best source for political strategy and election advice that includes teaching candidates, campaign staff, political organizations, volunteers and activists how to win political campaigns. In their experience they have found that “the backbone of any local campaign is its volunteers.”
Red Cross, Meals On Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America are just a few of the hundreds of non-profit charity organizations that rely heavily and sometimes only on the support and time of volunteers. According to National Council of Nonprofits the vast majority of charitable nonprofits are governed by a volunteer board of directors. According to the IRS, 85% of all charitable nonprofits have no paid staff and are run entirely by volunteers. These board members are committing their time and knowledge to these charitable organizations that are creating homes for people, feeding the elderly and giving shelter and aid to those hit by tragedy; pretty commendable.
One of the first lines of defense in many communities are the selfless and courageous firefighters and EMT’s. According to www.volunteerfirefighter.org, “in most communities across the US, recruiting and retaining volunteers is the only option to maintain emergency response services because of financial limitations.” Firefighter and EMT volunteers are vital to protecting their community’s people and property. While time and energy intensive, volunteering also provides a rewarding experience.
Most activities and services are run by their great parishioners who volunteer to take on tasks that will allow their ministry to thrive and excel. Because many churches are on tight budgets, volunteers are essential to their success as well as help spreading their message. Volunteer opportunities are available for all ages and levels of involvement that range from being a Sunday usher or to serving as a missionary and traveling to other countries to help spread the word. All positions, while vastly different, are equally important.
Don’t know where to start? Visit some of these helpful websites to find out more about what it takes to make a difference!
How are you or your organization changing the world through volunteering? Please share below.