Response Updates

National Volunteer Week [2024 Celebration]

Reported by Convoy of Hope

National Volunteer Week is more than just a period marked on our calendars — it’s a vibrant celebration of the generous spirits who dedicate their efforts to bettering our communities. 

This article dives into the essence of National Volunteer Week, tracing its history, highlighting its significance, and exploring practical ways to get involved. 

Whether you’re a seasoned volunteer or new to the arena of service, everyone can do something to get involved.

Convoy of Hope volunteers in 2023 running a field and mobile distribution in Maui to ensure individuals and families have the support they need.

What Is National Volunteer Week?

National Volunteer Week — sometimes referred to as National Volunteer Appreciation Week — is an annual event designed to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of volunteers who lend their time, talent, and voice to make a difference. 

Coordinated by Points of Light, this special week is a time to shine a light on the people and causes that inspire us to serve. 

It’s an opportunity to thank all volunteers across the U.S. and to encourage more people to engage in volunteer work.

The History of National Volunteer Week

The inception of National Volunteer Week dates back to 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing the week as an annual celebration of volunteering. 

Over the years, every U.S. president has signed a proclamation promoting National Volunteer Week, emphasizing the force that transforms our world through service. 

Did You Know? 

National Volunteer Week is an annual weeklong event that takes place in the United States, while International Volunteer Day (IVD), is observed globally on December 5?

International Volunteer Day focuses on celebrating and promoting volunteerism worldwide, recognizing the impact of volunteer efforts on an international scale.

Notably, President George H.W. Bush’s 1989 inaugural address invoked the vision of a “thousand points of light,” which spotlighted the volunteer community’s vital role in society.

Since then, the scope of this observance has grown exponentially each year.

When Is National Volunteer Week?

Mark your calendars! National Volunteer Week 2024 will be observed from April 21 to April 27. 

This week is also part of Global Volunteer Month, which extends the focus on community service through various activities and highlights the global impact of volunteers.

5 Ways To Celebrate National Volunteer Week

Celebrating National Volunteer Week can be as diverse as the volunteers themselves. 

Here are five practical ways to engage:

1. Participate in Local Events

Many communities host special events or volunteer fairs during National Volunteer Week.

Join thousands of volunteer projects happening nationwide and contribute to the initiatives that resonate most with you.

As one example, Convoy of Hope — a faith-based, nonprofit organization intent on reducing global poverty and hunger — relies on volunteers regularly.

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Convoy’s Hands of Hope program organizes weekly nights at Convoy’s World Distribution Center for volunteers to prepare needed resources for communities around the world.

Convoy also utilizes volunteer truck drivers to send its fleet of semi trucks across the country to disaster zones and other areas of need.

2. Spread the Word

Use social media to raise awareness about the importance of volunteerism. Post about your own experiences or share stories of volunteers who inspire you. 

Use hashtags like #NationalVolunteerWeek and #PointsofLight to join the larger conversation.

Volunteer’s pack bags of relief supplies during Convoy’s weekly Hands of Hope gathering.

3. Recognize & Thank Volunteers

If you’re involved with an organization, use this week as a chance to thank your volunteers.

Organize a recognition ceremony or highlight their stories and contributions on your platforms to put a spotlight on their hard work.

4. Discover New Volunteer Opportunities

Interested in starting your volunteer journey?

Look for opportunities that align with your skills and interests. 

Whether it’s environmental, educational, health-related, or beyond, there’s no shortage of ways to contribute.

5. Educate & Inspire

Host workshops or panels discussing the impact of volunteering.

Invite speakers to share their experiences and insights on how volunteering transforms the world and the lives of the volunteers themselves.

Next Steps

National Volunteer Week does more than recognize those who already volunteer.

It’s also a potent call to action for potential volunteers to step forward and lend their time and talent. 

Visit Convoy of Hope’s website to learn more about how volunteers around the world are helping Convoy grow its programs to serve people in need.

Whether you connect with Hands of Hope or explore opportunities to serve at a disaster site, the possibilities are vast and satisfying.

A Convoy of Hope volunteer hands a bag of groceries to a Guest of Honor in Sacramento, California.

Every effort counts, and every volunteer can make a substantial impact. As we approach National Volunteer Week 2024, let’s prepare to celebrate and elevate the spirit of service that keeps our communities vibrant and resilient. 

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