NationalService.gov: The 2018 Volunteering in America report found that 77.34 million adults (30%) volunteered through an organization last year. Altogether, Americans volunteered nearly 6.9 billion hours, worth an estimated $167 billion in economic value. Millions more are supporting friends and family (43.1 percent) and doing favors for their neighbors (51.4 percent), suggesting that many are engaged in acts of “informal volunteering.”
The fabric of our nation is strengthened by the service of its volunteers. When we stand side-by-side to help others, our differences fade away and we learn that Americans have more in common than we realize. Each and every day, ordinary Americans are stepping up to support their fellow citizens to help with needs both great and small because they understand the power service has to change communities and lives for the better.
The research also found that Americans are generous with more than just their time. Volunteers donate to charity at twice the rate as non-volunteers. Nearly 80 percent of volunteers donated to charity, compared to 40 percent of non-volunteers.
Now that I have retired, I have come to learn the value of volunteering; both for my own joy and fulfillment as well as for the benefit of others. Selfishly, it helps keep the melancholy of aging at bay. The beneficiaries of my time/energy contribution never cease to inspire me. It is always surprising to me how those with so little, some facing overwhelming life challenges can reflect such gratitude and positivity. Giving oneself to others (be it money, prayer, service, or a listening ear) bequeaths divine blessings to both giver and receiver.
Here are a few inspirational quotes from VolunteerHub to encourage you to consider volunteering, if you don’t currently, or reinforce/expand your work if you do.
- “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Gandhi
- “Volunteering is at the very core of being a human. No one has made it through life without someone else’s help.” – Heather French Henry
- “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – Muhammad Ali
- “Every person can make a difference, and every person should try.” – John F. Kennedy
- “Volunteering is an act of heroism on a grand scale. And it matters profoundly. It does more than help people beat the odds; it changes the odds.” – William J. Clinton
- “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
- “The quality of your life will be determined by the quality of your contribution. When you work to improve the lives of others, your life improves automatically.” – Kurek Ashley
- “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” — Audrey Hepburn
Volunteerism is one of the most selfless acts that we can become involved in. Nonprofits around the world need more volunteers to carry out their missions and make the biggest difference possible. VolunteerMatch is the largest network in the nonprofit world. It’s how volunteers and nonprofits connect to achieve remarkable outcomes. Donate.