International Volunteer Day 2023 is on Monday, December 5, 2023. This day pays tribute to the frontline, selfless public welfare workers who also assist the organizations in the fulfilment of formidable goals like societal, environmental and economical development. The UN’s General Assembly mandated annual and worldwide observance of this day on December 17, 1985.
Theme of the day 2023
International Volunteer Day theme is “Solidarity through volunteering.” The theme aims to gather all people to volunteer work for social and economic development and to change people’s mindsets to build a better world. This time is not to stand alone, but we must stand with each other to work together. We must act together for the future of our planet and start acting upon this idea right now before it becomes too late because sustainable human development and a spirit of equity underpin all interactions in this world.
History of the Event
In 1985, the U.N. General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/40/212 for International Volunteer Day. Since then, the day has provided opportunities for governments, foundations, organizations, and individuals to set and achieve goals and to recognize the efforts of volunteers from all walks of life.
Purpose of the Day
We celebrate the day to recognize, appreciate and promote the tireless work of UN Volunteers and volunteers existing worldwide. It offers an opportunity to encourage the government to acknowledge and support volunteer contributions in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national, and international levels.
Importance of the Day
This day is significant to celebrate as it is vital in motivating people to achieve (SDGs). Some points which highlight the importance of this day are given below:
It inspires and encourages people to volunteer when they see how much volunteerism impacts their society, environment, and economy. It is an opportunity to educate the public on issues of concern and show them how the contributions of others have changed things from worse to better.
Provides solutions to global problems
When we face global problems together, we’re more likely to come up with lasting solutions. When the public gets involved in solving problems around them, their answers are more likely to be feasible in the long term as they’re more people-centric and inclusive.
Creates a better future
Your support of a worthy cause today helps to build a better world for tomorrow. Building schools, taking care of our environment, and passing on valuable skills to youth help to create a better future and set an example for future generations.
How to Celebrate International Volunteer Day?
Here are some activities to celebrate the day in a better way:
Read the World Volunteerism Report
UN produces The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (S.W.V.R) every three years. It has a record of volunteer efforts worldwide and the achievements made from their contributions.
Involve in volunteer work
You can take an active role in volunteering in your community. Share your pictures and videos of your efforts while your activity with hashtags to raise awareness and motivate people to do so.
Donate to a volunteer organization
You can contribute money as a donation to volunteer organizations on this day. This will also help frontline workers and vulnerable groups with essential services.
Share quotes, slogans, and messages
If you want to celebrate the day at home, you can share messages and quotes on social media to appreciate and encourage the efforts of volunteerism.
Some Facts About Volunteering
- Over 1 billion people volunteer worldwide.
- The effect of their labor is equal to over 109 million full-time workers.
- Clinical research shows that volunteering positively affects general health and chronic pain management.
- Around 30.3% of Americans volunteer.
- In the US and Canada, 38% donate between $101 and $999.
- 70% of volunteer work is done informally.
- Volunteer time in the States is currently valued at $28.54 per hour.
- In the US, 15% of people support hunger and homelessness causes.
- In Africa, 62% of people who donate are enrolled in a recurring giving program.
- Volunteering connects with others and builds a support base, which helps ward off stress and depression.
- Volunteering, especially among the elderly, helps reduce mortality rates and helps people live longer, more fulfilled lives.
- Volunteers have a higher chance of being very happy than people who never volunteered, going up by as much as 12% among people who volunteer every two to four weeks.
- People in the States spend an average of 52 hours a year volunteering.
- Unemployed volunteers are more likely to find work than non-volunteers.
- Women are more likely than men, as 57% of volunteers are women.
- Approximately 25.7% of volunteers are volunteering for sports, hobbies, or cultural groups, and 19.2% spend their time volunteering for educational organizations.
Role of Volunteers
Volunteers play an essential role in the implementation of the event, not only because of the skills they can bring to the event organizing process but also because they help to reduce the costs incurred in staging the event. U.N. volunteers assist in running local and national elections and supporting humanitarian and peacekeeping projects worldwide. Volunteering contributes to the economy and builds a safer, unified society. This, in turn, promotes civic engagement resulting in the socioeconomic growth of a nation. Youth have a particularly vital role in leveraging volunteer programs to shape a better future.
Quotes for International Volunteer Day
- “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” – (Helen Keller)
- Elizabeth Andrew quoted, “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”
- “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” – (Maya Angelou)
- Audrey Hepburn said, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
- “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – (Willie Nelson)
- Seuss quoted, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
- “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – (Steve Jobs)
- Bernard Meltzer said, “There is no better exercise for your heart than reaching down and helping lift someone up.”
- “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” – (Herman Melville)
- Martin Luther King, Jr quoted, “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know physic’s second theory of thermodynamics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
- “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – (Muhammad Ali)
- Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
- “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” – (Martin Luther King, Jr)
- John Walters said, “I urge young people to consider public service, whether they do it now by volunteering in their community or preparing for public service as an adult.”
- “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – (Gandhi)
- Heather French Henry said, “Volunteering is at the very core of being a human. No one has made it through life without someone else’s help.”
- “Volunteerism is the voice of the people put into action.
- These actions shape and mold the present into a future we can all be proud of.” – (Helen Dyer)
- Margaret Mead quoted, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
- “Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.” – (Sherry Anderson)
- John F. Kennedy said, “Every person can make a difference, and every person should try.”
- “The quality of your life will be determined by the quality of your contribution. When you work to improve the lives of others, your life improves automatically.” – (Kurek Ashley)