April 20 is International Volunteer Recognition Day in Canada and the UK. The origin of this special day is unclear. But, it is a great opportunity to thank those who give their time to help others. How can you participate? You can help on both sides of the fence. First, by being a volunteer yourself. Second, by honoring those who give of themselves to help others.
How to volunteer:
- Pick an area that you love. Is it cooking, gardening, driving, painting, performing music, singing, fishing, meeting new people?
- Find a way to combine your area of love to an area of need. You may find it in government, churches, local volunteer organizations.
- Governments need people to volunteer on commissions, like the Shade Tree Commission, Parks, Civil Service, Utilities, and zoning.
- Churches offer many ways to use your talents. Singing in the choir, playing your instrument, cooking, delivering, and taking people grocery shopping.
- Your local civic clubs, like Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions offer many ways to share your abilities.
How to honor the volunteers:
- If you have been the recipient of the generosity of volunteers, you can simply thank them.
- Or you can contact the mayor of your city, and ask if he would be willing to write a proclamation to call attention to those volunteers. Then call the newspaper and have them take a picture in his office of the group of people.
- Give gifts, like Maglite flashlights to the volunteers in your favorite group. You can choose a government group, church group, or civic group. Again, you can call the newspaper, TV stations, and mayor to get involved in the appreciation ceremony. People like to read stories like this in the newspapers, and watch them on TV.