Since 1943, Canada has celebrated National Volunteer Week. Organized by Volunteering Canada, a revival in the ‘60s continues its legacy, including the expansion of the week to the United States. Stateside, Points of Light continues to organize the week of giving back in the U.S. but there are many other organizations involved with promoting or actively participating in the event. This includes the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Held annually every April, Veterans continue to give back and make an impact within their community.
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When Is National Volunteer Week?
You’ll find National Volunteer Week held every year around mid-April. The dates can fluctuate, but the weeks in the middle of the month are targeted. However, as with many things, the week has outgrown itself over time.
The initiative that is organized by groups, such as Point of Light, has spread throughout the world. Now, April is National Volunteer Month, and the week exists every April during Global Volunteer Month for a worldwide effect.
Having the week grow into a month is a great evolution and provides more awareness, opportunities, and incentives for all of us to give back to our fellow man. A sentiment exemplified thoroughly by those that serve in the American Armed Forces.
The Juxtaposition Involving a Life of Service
Make no mistake about it, you’ll find plenty of Veterans giving back during National Volunteer Month. But those that have served don’t need a week or a month to give back. Their service to this country is but an extension of the foundation laid for a lifetime of helping America continue to be a better place.
Throughout the country, you’ll find Veteran organizations helping communities near and far with a variety of initiatives. It’s a cruel irony that this often also means giving back to help fellow Veterans who may need assistance after sacrificing their own well-being for our greater good.
Suggested Read: Volunteers Needed for the Million Veteran Program
As a whole, the Veteran community has many issues among it, for reasons that are beyond as simple as pointing to a few independent factors. There are mental health issues, food insecurity hurdles, obstacles to housing, and other factors that can often hinder a return to civilian life for those who have served.
It’s important that the U.S. continues to not only highlight these issues but provide actionable plans with viable solutions for overcoming them. Veterans give and have given far too much for our nation to lack the resources they deserve when transitioning back into civilian life.
Making an Impact During National Volunteer Week 2023
Giving back to your community can come in many shapes and forms. There are many ways to help those around you. If you’re looking for inspiration, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few National Volunteer Week ideas that can help you in April and all year round. Use this list to spark ideas that inspire you to make an impact in the lives of those around you:
- Clean up trash in a local park, beach, or roadway.
- Donate your time to a local kitchen supplying the less fortunate with food.
- Look out for local organizations that assist Veterans and sign up for their cause. This includes volunteering at your local VA.
- Get involved with mentoring kids in your area. You can also sign up for coaching local sports teams to help develop skills they’ll need on and off the field.
- Libraries are a great place to give back and help promote education at the same time.
- Assist in community efforts put on by your place of worship.
If you’re looking to get involved during National Volunteer Week or just in general, then you are in luck. There are literally hundreds of thousands of opportunities available. But as you can see, you don’t have to always be a part of a large organization or cause to make a difference. Being there for your neighbors, loved ones, and community can help change the world one life at a time.
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