It may have gone by unnoticed, but the past week was National Volunteer Week. Many area residents might have noticed, but they were out, well, volunteering.
National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate people doing extraordinary things through service. Established in 1974, NVW focuses national attention on the impact and power of volunteerism and service as an integral aspect of our civic leadership. The week draws the support and endorsement of the president and Congress, governors, mayors and municipal leaders, as well as corporate and community groups across the country.
Through programs such as the President’s Volunteer Service Award, Daily Point of Light Award and the Extra Mile – Points of Light Volunteer Pathway, the Points of Light organization recognizes individuals, families, nonprofit organizations and government entities and the tremendous impact they are making on our country’s most critical challenges year-round.
In addition, the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services joined the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities this week to thank and celebrate the outstanding contributions of the dedicated and passionate volunteers who help those who most need aging and disability services.
In a statement releases earlier this week, NASUAD thanked all volunteers across the nation. “This is a time to celebrate people in our communities who are doing extraordinary things. Every month here at KDADS we recognize Kansans who go above and beyond in serving their communities. Take some time this week to honor and recognize those individuals around you,” said KDADS Secretary Shawn Sullivan.
It never ceases to amaze to see just how many events and activities in our community wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for the incredible amount of work done by those who give of their time with expecting anything in return.
The recent Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo, the Family Crisis Center’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and the upcoming June Jaunt are glaring examples. But, there are the folks who deliver Meals on Wheels or drive residents to out-of-town doctor’s appointments. There are people who organize fundraisers for Relay for Life or to help with someone’s medical expenses.
There are countless chili feeds, pot lucks, bake sales and car washes.
For these folks, no special week is necessary. They do what they do because of their passion.
They see what their efforts do for the community. Actually, they do get paid – not with money, but with the satisfaction of knowing they helped their fellow humans.
Now, there is a new organization in town, Volunteers in Action. It is an umbrella agency that takes in the Retired Senior Volunteer Program with the mission to become a one-stop center to connect volunteers of all ages to those needing help with projects.
For those who already volunteer, thanks. For those who are thinking about it, go for it.
It is even easier now.