April is National Volunteer Month, a month dedicated to honoring and encouraging our communities’ volunteers. April became National Volunteer Month as part of President George W. Bush’s Points of Light Campaign in 1991. It is the perfect time to recognize the impact that volunteer service can have on local and national challenges, building stronger communities, and transforming the world!
National Volunteer Week (April 18-24)
While we might not always see it, community support happens all around us in many places and ways - with a group, an individual, a voice, a vote, or even a wallet. Volunteer week is an opportunity to recognize and thank those who lend their time and talent to support their favorite causes.
Even within our ClassLink community, we had no idea how many generous people surrounded us. Here are just a few examples of team members who give back to their communities.
"I volunteer with Jaden Cares. It was the idea of then 10-year-old Jaden Lowery, diagnosed with B-cell Lymphoma at the age of 6. After several rounds of chemotherapy, Jaden fought cancer and won! During his inpatient treatments, Jaden would see many homeless people on his trips to and from the hospital. He told his parents that one day he would like to help the kids in the hospitals and the homeless - this led to the creation of Jaden Cares."
“With my two daughters, we organized an Out of the Darkness Walk within our community, raising money for the fight against suicide.”
With most of us navigating packed schedules, the idea of volunteering may seem daunting. However, volunteering can be extremely rewarding and doesn't have to take up too much time! It may feel like the effort is just a 'drop in the bucket,' but it often can lead to a tidal wave of change.
“I volunteer to do behind the scenes work for my kids' schools. Up until this year, I drove the High School Band truck to all the football games and ran a Girl Scout troop. This year has posed challenges because of the virus, but things will get back to normal, I hope.”
Many organizations and charities rely on the generosity of volunteers to help them thrive and fulfill their mission, but the rewards to the actual volunteer are immeasurable. Studies show that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience—leading to an improvement in your overall health and happiness!
“I participate in our monthly Germantown Neighborhood Cleanup Day” - More information here.
Volunteering connects you with others, often in a fun and impactful way. It can help build self-confidence and overall self-esteem. After all, doing good for others creates a natural sense of accomplishment. Depending on the type of work you are doing, it can be great for your physical (and mental) health. Furthermore, volunteer experience can even help you in a competitive job market. It allows you to practice teamwork and communication skills—a win-win for all parties!
Looking for ideas and inspiration? Check out:
If you are considering volunteering, you should ask yourself a few questions before committing. Think about specific causes you are passionate about, research local organizations, and reach out to folks you may know who are already volunteering.
Now get out there, thank a volunteer, get involved in your community, and reap the rewards!
Pro Tip: Inspire teachers and students to volunteer by placing a link to VolunteerMatch or a local community organization on your LaunchPad page.
Tech Talk: Accessibility Feature
Have you noticed the new icon on the lower right of your LaunchPad? This is a new accessibility widget designed to help people with disabilities. Features within the widget allow you to quickly jump between sections, adjust the font size, turn on high contrast mode, or toggle a light background.