Since 1974, National Volunteer Week has raised awareness about the import role volunteerism plays in strengthening communities while highlighting opportunities for volunteers and organizations to work together. This year, National Volunteer Week is celebrated April 21 through 27. A variety of opportunities are available throughout the week—and the year—to maximize the power of individuals engaged in volunteerism to change communities.
“I encourage you to take the opportunity to become engaged in community service during National Volunteer Week, as well as throughout the year,” said James Leary, vice chancellor for community and government relations. “Whatever your interest or skill-set, there is a local organization that could use your talent and dedication to make a difference for our neighbors in need.”
Below are a few resources available to become involved in volunteer activities:
· For a comprehensive list of Worcester area nonprofit agencies seeking volunteers, visit the United Way of Central Massachusetts: https://volunteer.truist.com/uwcm/org/dir-A-1.html;
· On the fourth Thursday of each month, UMMS volunteers serve dinner to homeless veterans at the Veterans, Inc. shelter at 69 Grove Street in Worcester. To volunteer or learn more, contact Gladys McRell Ciciotte at 508-856-4400 or firstname.lastname@example.org;
· Working for Worcester, led by Worcester college students, will hold a project day on Saturday, April 20, to make recreational infrastructure improvements at nine Worcester sites (mostly parks and schools) to benefit children in primarily low-income areas. Information about the organization and how to volunteer is available at http://www.workingforworcester.com.
· Rebuilding Together Worcester works to rehabilitate the houses of low-income homeowners, particularly the elderly, disabled and families with children. It is seeking volunteers for its annual Rebuilding Weekend, which will be held Friday, April 19, to Sunday, April 21. For more information, visit https://sites.google.com/site/rebuildingtogetherworcester.
· For those who wish to volunteer outside of the Worcester area, a list of regional United Way offices across Massachusetts and links to their respective web sites that include local volunteer opportunities can be found at http://apps.unitedway.org/myuw/luindex.cfm?id=browsecities&zip=00000&abbr=MA&app=.
“UMMS has a long and rich history of service to the commonwealth and our local communities. National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to build upon this tradition and improve lives in the communities in which we live and work,” said Leary.