The important service of volunteering is celebrated nationwide every April, and this year in the United States, National Volunteer Week runs from April 18–24.
According to nonprofit organization Points of Light, National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 as an “opportunity to recognize the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges, to build stronger communities, and be a force that transforms the world.” The 2018 Volunteering in America Report found that 77.34 million adults, or 30.3%, volunteered through an organization the prior year, totaling 6.9 billion hours. Additionally, “millions more are supporting friends and family (43.1%) and doing favors for their neighbors (51.4%), suggesting that many are engaged in acts of ‘informal volunteering.’”
In Texas, that same report shows that:
- 6,036,702 volunteers contribute 563.3 million hours of service.
- 4% of residents volunteer.
- 3% of residents do favors for neighbors.
- 2% of residents do something positive for the neighborhood.
- 9% of residents participate in local groups or organizations.
These numbers are no surprise to us, as we know how deeply invested our members are in their students, schools, communities, families, and friends.
You volunteer your time to ATPE, your students, and other causes you care about. You are strong advocates for your profession, and we are thankful for all you do on campus and as a volunteer with ATPE and beyond. This year, you were dealt an impossible situation. You’ve handed out food and homework packets, and you’ve juggled online and in-person learning—often at the same time. You faced a freezing winter storm. You constantly found innovative ways to engage your students and keep their spirits up.
This National Volunteer Week, we celebrate you for all that you’ve done and all that you continue to do.