National Volunteer Week is right around the corner. This week-long celebration was started 42 years ago by President Richard Nixon, who wanted to encourage Americans to give back to their communities. Since then, this magnificent initiative has grown and developed into what it is today. National Volunteer Week is a time to honor those who serve our communities, recognize their many contributions and encourage others to engage in meaningful volunteer opportunities.
Volunteers are truly special people who share the world’s most valuable asset: time. One of my favorite quotes is “The best gift you could ever give someone is your time, because you’re giving something that you’ll never get back.”
At Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota, we are fortunate to have so many wonderful individuals share their time and talents with us. In 2015 we received 40,516 hours of service from approximately 1,680 volunteers. Our volunteers impact our mission of eliminating barriers to work and independence for our participants through a variety of roles. Some examples of what our volunteers do are helping with mock interviews, mentoring, working in our stores or assisting someone with obtaining their GED. We are truly grateful to our volunteers for demonstrating their dedication to making this world a better place. It’s because of your efforts that we’re able to say “together, we prepare people for work”.
If you have the desire to make an impact on your community, gain meaningful experiences and connect with others, I encourage you to discover the power of volunteering, if you haven’t already. To honor the wonderful tradition of National Volunteer Week, perhaps Mr. Elder M. Russel Ballard said it best, “Great things are brought about and burdens are lightened through the efforts of many hands anxiously engaged in a good cause.”
Thank you to all the volunteers out there who give so freely of their time and of themselves. You are appreciated this week and every day throughout the year!