About National Volunteer Week
National Volunteer Week is 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.
National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 by the United States government. Today, the holiday is organized by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. Community-based organizations across the country celebrate National Volunteer Week as a way to recognize “the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges.”
According to the Urban Institute’s most recent data, Americans volunteer 8.8 billion hours annually.
National Volunteer Week began as–and continues to be–a national holiday that formalizes the recognition of volunteers in our communities. Organizations of all scopes and sizes should take the time to thank our neighbors, strangers, friends, and family who selflessly give their time to help others.
Since 1974, National Volunteer Week has grown exponentially each year, with thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week. Today, as people strive to lead lives that reflect their values, the expression of civic life has evolved. Whether online, at the office, or the local food bank; whether with a vote, a voice, or a wallet – doing good comes in many forms, and we recognize and celebrate them all.
From The American Presidency Project, Proclamation 10183—National Volunteer Week, 2021:
“We are living in a moment that calls for hope and light and love. Hope for our futures, light to see our way forward, and love for one another. Volunteers provide all three. Service—the act of looking out for one another—is part of who we are as a Nation. Our commitment to service reflects our understanding that we can best meet our challenges when we join together. This week, we recognize the enduring contributions of our Nation's volunteers and encourage more Americans to join their ranks.
“The tremendous power of volunteers and volunteerism has been on dramatic display in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All across the country, retired doctors and nurses, students and veterans, personnel from across the Federal Government, and countless others have given their time and talent to administer vaccines, staff vaccination centers, boost testing, tracing, and other life-saving public health measures, and provide food, water, and other necessities to those at heightened risk so they can remain safely at home.”