International Volunteer Day - Dec. 5, 2007
The International Volunteer Day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution A/RES/40/212 on December 17, 1985. Since then, governments, the UN system, and civil society organizations have successfully joined volunteers around the world to celebrate international volunteering on December 5, of each year.
International Volunteer Day provides volunteer organizations and individual volunteers the opportunity to increase awareness about their projects at all levels. Whether your goal is to donate 100 books to a local library or assist the United Nations in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, each of you has the right and responsibility to share your volunteer commitment with those around you.
A 2006 report on volunteering by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the following data:
- About 61.2 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2005 and September 2006.
- About 30.1 percent of women and 23.0 percent of men did volunteer work in the year ended in September 2006, down from 32.4 and 25.0 percent, respectively, during the prior year.
- As in previous years, women volunteered at a higher rate than men across all age groups, educational levels, and other major characteristics.
Celebrating the hard work and dedication of international volunteers on December 5, is crucial, but, as the UN notes, "The critical question is, however, what happens on December 6? Newspapers may turn their attention elsewhere and sound bites may fade away, but the work of volunteers goes on with or without publicity and well-deserved recognition."
Encouraging more people to volunteer is a 365-days-a-year task for GFWC and all community service organizations that depend on the passion of individuals.
International Volunteer Day enables us to recognize the power of volunteers, and pay tribute to their commitment to enhancing the lives of others through community service.