Toi Degree column: April is National Volunteer Month

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 16, 2022

By Toi Degree
N.C. Cooperative Extension

National Volunteer Month in April celebrates the impact volunteers have on our lives and encourages active volunteerism in generations to come. The entire month is National Volunteer Month and within this big umbrella, there’s also National Volunteer Week. This year’s theme for National Volunteer Week is, “Volunteering Is Empathy in Action,” affirming the strong connection between volunteerism and empathy. This profoundly human connection is at the heart of healthier individuals and stronger communities.

National Volunteer Month began with former President George H.W. Bush’s vision of 1,000 points of light, which he shared in his 1989 inaugural address, helping to mobilize volunteers across the country. He founded Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, with a mission to encourage millions of people to take action and change the world.

Most volunteers are unpaid, but they generously donate a part of their lives to do the work that nobody else likes to do — cleaning up after events, providing educational workshops, chaperoning field trips and helping the librarian; there are so many areas requiring volunteers. This month, we salute them for their unwavering services to businesses and communities and hold aloft their examples to inspire youth and adults towards volunteerism.

So, this April, in addition to celebrating volunteers, become a volunteer yourself if you don’t currently volunteer. You already know that by volunteering you’re providing a great service to those in need, but did you know it also has many benefits for the volunteer, including increasing happiness? Volunteering enables you to help others and improve your overall well-being in the process — it can’t get any better than that!

Here are just a few ways that you can volunteer in your community:

  • Serve in a soup kitchen
  • Aid your church
  • Spend time at summer camp
  • Assist your school
  • Tutor students
  • Mentor a child
  • Organize a summer reading program
  • Donate books

For more information on volunteering, visit these sites:

Points of Light —

Cabot Department of Gratitude —

Reward Volunteers —

Toi N. Degree is family and consumer education agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Contact her at 704-216-8970 or

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