National Volunteer Week
For 2013, National Volunteer Week is observed from April 21 -27 as Celebrate Service. All of us as mayors should issue a Proclamation and recognize those who generously volunteer to better our communities.
Established in 1974, and drawing the support and endorsement of all subsequent U.S. presidents, as well as governors and mayors, National Volunteer Week focuses national and local attention on the impact and power of volunteerism and service as an integral aspect of our civic leadership. National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing, and encouraging people to seek out traditional and imaginative ways to engage in their communities. It is a time to encourage all of our citizens to discover their own power to make a difference and receive the gratification of helping out.
All of our towns have been marked by the service of volunteers, and it is a great time to celebrate people of generous spirit making valuable contributions through volunteer service. Volunteers are the lifeblood of our municipal governments, our schools, and faith-based and community groups. We all have innumerable individuals who serve on all of our many boards and committees, from planning board to recreation committee to commission on aging. We have volunteers in our emergency services as fire companies and rescue squads, in our schools, our faith-based groups, veterans organizations, and the multitude of other organizations as scouts. We have so many volunteers who every day step forward to participate in clean-up days, to deliver meals-on-wheels, to visit at hospitals, to solicit food and clothing for those in need, and the list goes on and on.
When one of the most extraordinary weather events, Storm Sandy, recently hit our state, thousands of volunteers stepped forward to serve their fellow citizens -- to unite, to donate, to build and to care. From mentoring at-risk youth and caring for older Americans to supporting our veterans and military families and rebuilding after disasters, these everyday folks make a real and lasting impact on the lives of so many others.
Our Nation has been profoundly shaped by Americans who have volunteered their time and energy to America's story. Generations of selfless individuals from all walks of life have served each other and our Nation, each person dedicated to making tomorrow better than today. They exemplify the quintessential American idea that we can change things, make things better, and solve problems when we work together. Let us all observe this week by supporting and encouraging volunteering in service projects in our communities and urging people to make service a part of their daily lives.