NATIONAL VOLUNTEER MONTH
April is Volunteer Month. It's about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek ways to engage in their community. It’s about Living United – demonstrating that we meet our challenges not as isolated individuals but as members of a true community with all of us working together. During this month we encourage individuals and communities to be at the center of social change discovering their power to make a difference.
It’s also an opportunity to whet appetites for change through volunteerism and get people plugged into service throughout the remainder of the year through United Way's Volunteer Center at www.iHelpChattanooga.org.
It began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing April as an annual celebration of volunteering. Every President since has signed a proclamation promoting volunteerism. Additionally, governors, mayors and other elected officials make public statements and sign proclamations in support of this time.
Facts about volunteering
Health benefits of volunteering:
An analysis of data from the Longitudinal Study of Aging found that those individuals who volunteer have lower mortality rates than those who do not, even when controlling for physical health.
In fact, research has shown a relationship between communities with high levels of social capital—our social connectedness or social networks and the related norms of trust and reciprocity—and a community’s quality of life as measured by such indicators as higher levels of parental engagement in schools, stronger local economies, less crime, and lower incidence of illnesses. Communities with high levels of neighbors working with and helping each other are more healthy and vibrant places to live and work.