National Volunteer Week is an April awareness event that recognizes those who get involved in their communities. The initiative, organized by Points of Light, grows more and more every year, with thousands of volunteer opportunities and events scheduled. Here are four Volunteer Appreciation Week ideas to engage people in your office or neighborhood:
1. Plan a volunteer event
What would National Volunteer Week be without volunteer opportunities? Organize an activity in your community, like cleaning up a local park or organizing a charity event. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to begin planning your volunteer activity well enough in advance to give yourself time to promote it throughout your community.
2. Throw an appreciation dinner
If you work for a company or organization that relies heavily on its volunteers — like a hospital or school — consider arranging a special “Thank You” lunch or dinner. They’ll appreciate it more than you think! You can throw a BBQ, have a meal catered, or even take them out to one of their favorite restaurants. Alternatively, you can hand out gift cards for your volunteers to use at their own leisure.
3. Recognize star volunteers
Every community has people who always seem to go above and beyond. Maybe they serve on the PTA, or perhaps they’re involved in the volunteer fire department. Why not recognize these standout individuals with Volunteer Appreciation Week gifts? Choose a product or award, and add an imprint that communicates just how much you appreciate those who put others’ needs before their own.
4. Engage kids & adolescents
Perhaps the most important of our Volunteer Appreciation Week ideas is to get your community’s youth involved. Volunteering teaches kids of all ages about compassion, empathy, patience, gratefulness and community responsibility. Furthermore, according to Parents magazine, “children who volunteer are more likely to continue doing so as adults.” Set up simple ways for the young people in your community to lend a helping hand during Volunteer Appreciation Week. Some ideas include organizing a book drive at your library, planning a trip to a local animal shelter, or collecting for a community food bank.
What other Volunteer Appreciation Week ideas do you have? Share your thoughts in the comments below!