Mark your calendars—April 12 to April 18 is National Volunteer Week this year. Originally established in 1974 by President Richard Nixon, this week of service is a way to celebrate and encourage volunteer efforts. This year, resolve to make an impact on your local community. Join forces with neighbors to increase your efforts. Here’s where to go in your city.
The largest outdoor “spring cleaning” event will take place on April 18 across all five boroughs of New York City. Sign up via New York Cares to join more than 4,000 volunteers to revitalize public outdoor spaces in the city. You can plant flowers, paint benches and clean up shorelines.
Boston Cares is rounding up younger volunteers to serve on Global Youth Service Day on April 18. Their main project will be making garden kits to be donated to Boston’s low-income youth to encourage healthy eating habits by growing their own food. Be sure to check their calendar for other events you can participate in that Saturday.
Although it’s not during National Volunteer Week, Chicago’s 22nd annual Serve-a-thon is scheduled for June 27. It’s the biggest single day of community service in Chicago, when you along with more than 5,000 volunteers can revamp community gardens, playgrounds, libraries and more. Keep an eye on Chicago Cares for more details and to see their volunteer calendar so you can start giving back to the community now.
Connect with causes and organizations you care about through NeighborGood, a volunteer database that serves the District.
On April 18th, San Francisco residents are buckling down to beautify their city. Get involved via HandsOn Bay Area to join your neighbors in restoring public spaces.
Whether you can commit to volunteering the whole week, or only a few hours, L.A. Works has simple volunteering assignments that really make a difference locally. Redistribute food from the farmer’s markets to various homeless shelters where people need fresh produce. If you’re most artistic, paint murals, teach lessons to senior citizens or refurbish wheelchairs if you prefer to work with your hands.
What are you going to do to help your community this year? Where do you volunteer? Let us know in the comments!