Happy National Volunteer Week April 21-27

April 17, 2013

Every day ordinary people accomplish extraordinary things by volunteering. How about you?

This year National Volunteer Week is slated for April 21 – 27. This year’s theme, “Celebrate Service,” captures the essence of what this week is all about: honoring the millions of people who dedicate themselves to taking action and solving problems in their communities. National Volunteer Week is also an opportunity for volunteers to inspire and encourage others to seek out opportunities and to participate in activities that cause a positive change in their communities.

President Richard Nixon established National Volunteer Week in 1974 as a way to celebrate and recognize the efforts of volunteers. Every sitting president since Nixon has issued a proclamation during National Volunteer Week urging people to give of their time to community outreach organizations.

Here at the American Red Cross we understand the value of volunteers, and encourage everyone to embrace volunteerism. We rely on volunteers every day to accomplish our humanitarian mission. Volunteers don’t just work; they make the Red Cross work.

Over 94 percent of our workforce is volunteers. Every year more than half a million people volunteer their time to the Red Cross and that number does not include the 3.5 million people who volunteer to donate blood every year.  A donation of blood can touch up to three different lives. Every day volunteers all across the country make a difference in the lives of many people.

Donating blood and volunteering at blood drives are only two of the many volunteer opportunities that the Red Cross offers. We have volunteer opportunities in disaster relief, teaching first aid and CPR classes, and many other areas. Click for a complete list of volunteer opportunities in your area. 

As always the easiest way to volunteer is to roll up your sleeve and donate blood. It takes only a little over an hour of your time every 56 days. It’s only through the dedication of voluntary donors that the Red Cross can make sure that the blood is there when someone needs it. The need for blood is constant and the gratification you feel is instant. Click to find a blood drive in your area and to schedule your donation appointment.