By Cheryl Mahoney
This Friday is International Volunteer Day. Created by the United Nations in 1985, IVD for Economic and Social Development is a huge effort to bring volunteers together and celebrate what they do. There are IVD national committees all over the world helping to organize and coordinate rallies, community projects, advocacy campaigns and more. In the Philippines there will be a symposium on Youth Volunteering and HIV/AIDS Prevention. In Croatia there is a concert being planned, where attendants will gain admission with tickets and candy, making possible gifts to a children’s home. In Syria, they are focusing on environmental awareness.
These are just a few of the exciting events happening, all over the world. You can find more events, and a lot more information–like how to get involved!–at World Volunteer Web. WVW was created by the United Nations Volunteers Program as a global volunteer resource online, and has lots of great things to share.
There has been some coverage in the media lately about donations to nonprofits dropping off as the economy declines and budgets get tighter. A few of the more proactive articles however have also pointed out that volunteering is one way to help others that shouldn’t cost much, if anything, if it’s in your local community. Check out Volunteer Match for volunteer opportunities in the US. If you want to go further afield and have a truly life-changing experience you could consider volunteering internationally.