by Ron Tatro, Vice President
April 23-29, 2017 is National Volunteer Week. It is about inspiring, recognizing, and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. In 1943, Canada became the first nation to recognize the efforts and contributions made by women on the home front to the war effort. National Volunteer Week was established in the United States by a Presidential Proclamation signed by President Richard Nixon in 1974.
According to Nonprofit Quarterly, each year more than 63 million American adults engage in volunteer activities in their communities, representing over 25% of all adults in this country. In 2014, these volunteers contributed 7.7 billion hours of service with a value of $188 billion dollars.
Are you a volunteer? If not, why not? Reasons for not volunteering range from “I am too busy.” to “I don’t know where to start.” Maybe you wonder “What’s in it for me? Here are some of the benefits of volunteering.
- Meet new people
- Teach your skills to someone else
- Improve your health
- Increase professional and personal networking opportunities
- Enhance your resume
- Feel good about helping someone else
Non-profit organizations, religious institutions, social service agencies, and youth groups benefit every day from volunteer efforts. Over the years, Elder Law of Michigan has been honored by hundreds of volunteers donating their services including:
- Legal interns helping seniors with legal issues;
- Fraud prevention volunteers calling seniors across the country to inform of frauds and scams;
- Members of the MiCAFE Network assisting seniors to obtain benefits such as food;
- Domain leaders for the Michigan Elder Justice Coordinating Council;
- Professional leaders serving on the Board of Directors.
The spirit of volunteerism is alive and well at Elder Law of Michigan, Inc.. Every one of our employees is encouraged to volunteer at one or more community organizations. Recently, seven staff members came together to form a team to deliver meals to seniors through the local Meals-On-Wheels program.
There are volunteer opportunities abound. Opportunities are in newspaper listings, social media, church bulletins, billboards, flyers at the market, and countless other locations. Find something that interests you and then jump in. Enjoy that feel-good-feeling you will get. Volunteer!