11 Apr Happy Volunteer Week–We Couldn’t Do It without You!
By Jan McKenzie
Service is the rent we pay for living.
–Marion Wright Edelman
With one in four Americans participating, volunteering can be considered a national pastime. Each day, thousands of Americans carry out this practice without thought or requirement by going to homeless shelters, hospitals, churches, schools, museums and other institutions to provide service.
Every year the Independent Sector releases the value of volunteer time, and the rate in 2013 was $22.55 per hour. In 2012, 64.5 million volunteers completed 7.9 billion hours of service.
This gift time can be valued at $175 billion according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. In reality, the value of a volunteer is priceless, as they come in to help organizations when and where they are need most—including answering the phone, sorting donations, serving meals, mentoring youth and providing disaster aid.
Within our Good360 network, charities utilize volunteers to read books, feed families, build houses, clothe children and more. At Good360 we benefit from hosting volunteer groups at our National Distribution and Sorting Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Within the community, corporations like Mutual of Omaha, UPS, Werner Enterprises, Carlson Rezidor and Bellevue University have assisted our colleagues in sorting, organizing and packing donations for our nonprofit members. We’ve also teamed up with the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Office of Civic and Social Responsibility to host students during the school’s annual days of service.
“Our group had so much fun,” shared Lyndsie Vacanti, coordinator of Werner Enterprises’ Blue Brigade. “We were all very happy to be able to help such a great organization!”
One of the most rewarding volunteer groups for Good360 are the refugee classes that come from Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska. These individuals complement their ESL classes with volunteer experience in the production center. This experience helps them supplement their vocabulary while gaining necessary work experience.
The greatest reward for any volunteer is a smile and a “thank you.” As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, take a moment to share a personal thank you with each of your volunteers—they deserve the acknowledgement. To all volunteers, we at Good360 say thank you!