Posted by: Don Linnen | 22 September 2009

Here’s to the Vols!

Amazing numbers: 61.8 million people – over a quarter of our population- volunteered at least once in 2008!

Most of them were women. Most of them were between 35 and 44 years of age. Most of them did this through faith-based organizations.*

Watch your television sets carefully in October. Hollywood is focusing on the week of October 19 to promote volunteer service. The vols will be involved in at least 60 programs across the spectrum.

Elie Wiesel wrote a short, horrific, must-read book titled Night. For that amazing piece of history and much more, Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. In his acceptance speech, he stated:

“There is so much to be done, there is so much that can be done. One person – a Raoul Wallenberg, an Albert Schweitzer, a Martin Luther King Jr. – one person with integrity can make a difference, a difference of life and death.”

Today, when you look across town, one or two states over, or across the oceans, you see so much to do – so many who need help. It is overwhelming, especially to people who are thinking of volunteering.

If your nonprofit is not making maximum use of volunteers, you are not making all the impact that is possible. Make it easy to volunteer. Make it fun. Make it compelling. The script writers in Hollywood are trying to help in 2009.

Wiesel is right. One person can make a difference. Your nonprofit is the vessel in which the next Wallenberg, Schweitzer, or King may sail. Be sure you have it ready for more volunteer sailors.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Volunteering in the United States, 2008

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