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Operation Honor Card has successfully collected 14,000,000 pledged hours of service from Americans who want to honor military families and veterans through acts of kindness, big and small, showing appreciation for their sacrifice.

It's been seven weeks since we arrived in Joplin to set up disaster relief efforts, and yet we still see new faces and register new volunteers. Last week, we were introduced to a few of the volunteers from across the country, and asked them what inspires them to join us.

There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That's right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you'll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you'll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

This past weekend, hundreds of thousands of Americans participated in service projects to pay tribute to the victims and heroes of 9/11. In all 50 states, volunteers turned out to paint and refurbish homes, run food drives, spruce up schools, reclaim neighborhoods, and support and honor veterans, soldiers, military families, and first responders.

At a press conference last Tuesday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon had this to say about the AmeriCorps members serving in the Joplin area: “I pushed more volunteers your way than maybe I should have. But I had the understanding that I could trust your operation. It appears I was right.”

The tireless efforts of our AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other volunteers in disaster sites across the nation deserves recognition. On Thankful Thursday, we wanted to give others a chance to share in our gratitude.

While the economy continues to show signs of improvement, there are still many workers who are facing challenges in connecting to new careers. The Department of Labor has encouraged dislocated workers to pursue education and training to improve their skills and better position them to compete for employment opportunities. Many workers have taken advantage of these opportunities, but it is also important to lay a path forward for those workers who have not enrolled in training and seek other options to build their skills and increase their chances to find employment.

If you took a snapshot of Americans' volunteer service, what would it look like? What work would attract the most volunteers? Will Boomers be able to teach Millennials a thing or two about helping others? And should you look north, south, east, or west to find the state that spends the most doing it?

I was inspired early in life to try to make a mark on the world. And even though I'm a bit of a natural caretaker -- working as a lifeguard and even helping find jobs for folks suffering from traumatic brain injury -- meetings and organizations just weren't my style.

National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, is a chance for Americans to recognize the volunteers within their community. Here on the Serve.gov blog, that's exactly what we hope to do with our posts this week.Today, this Wordless Wednesday features photos of all kinds of volunteers. Do you have a favorite volunteering photo? Share it with us on the Facebook!

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