The Opportunity in Volunteering

By Greg Tucker

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake serves alongside an AmeriCorps member at the 2013 Service Bowl in Baltimore, MD. (Corporation for National and Community Service Photo)

Service is at the very heart of what we do here at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), but we couldn’t do a lot of the things we do without the help of America’s volunteers. This strong and diverse talent pool represents the best of America and demonstrates the value of service to our nation.

As the federal agency tasked with leading the country’s service and volunteering efforts, we know a little about the benefits and power of volunteering.

Our AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers help mobilize millions of volunteers each year while ensuring that some of our nation’s most difficult challenges in areas like disaster services, environmental protection, education, and serving our veterans and military families. We also works to strengthen the volunteer sector through the Volunteer Generation Fund, which provides resources to help groups with volunteer recruitment and retention, and we lead President Obama’s call to service initiative, United We Serve and Serve.gov.

Another thing we know is that volunteering has benefits beyond the obvious ones. Our research has found that volunteers are more likely to connect to job opportunities that people who don’t volunteer. And we have taken this concept and applied it to ServiceWorks, a new public-private partnership with Points of Light and the Citi Foundation that will help connect disadvantaged young people to educational and career opportunities through volunteering and service.

We’re honored to be so closely linked to volunteering and the great things it accomplishes for our nation. And we thank President Obama for his support and his recognition of national service’s contribution in the Presidential Proclamation recognizing National Volunteer Week:

My Administration is dedicated to engaging Americans through service. Through the Corporation for National and Community Service, we administer programs like AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, and we have designed innovative initiatives such as School Turnaround AmeriCorps and VetSuccess AmeriCorps. In giving their time and talent, our volunteers can learn new skills and focus their vision, energy, and passion on projects ranging from improving disaster relief, delivering better education, and assisting returning veterans and military families. And by establishing the Task Force on Expanding National Service, we are creating new opportunities to support our communities through service.

Help us make National Volunteer Week a success. Visit Serve.gov to find volunteer opportunities in your area, and do your part to make our country a better place.

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Notes

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