On December 5th -- International Volunteer Day (IVD) -- United Way and organizations across the globe will applaud the power and potential of volunteers. IVD is an annual, worldwide annual celebration designated by the United Nations (UN) in 1985 as a day to shine a light on the important work volunteers do in promoting development and social change. IVD 2016’s theme, "#GlobalApplause – Give volunteers a hand," recognizes volunteers’ role in advancing peaceful societies and sustainable development.
International Volunteer Day is a success because the UN, governments, nonprofit organizations, private sector and committed individuals band together to organize events and media attention on how volunteers are making a difference. World University Service of Canada and Uniterra are engaging volunteers and alumni to support a public five-day call to action leading up to IVD, providing information on volunteering and volunteer stories every day and culminating with a volunteering quiz. The Commission on Voluntary Service and Action is planning a workshop on volunteering to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality in the U.S. Throughout the year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program works with its partners to integrate onsite volunteering into development programs, and volunteers can get involved virtually through UNV’s Online Volunteering service.
On December 5th, I urge you to give a hand to the volunteers you know, and I invite you to extend a hand to others year-round by volunteering with a United Way near you. Together, we can make a difference by building stronger communities on a global scale.