International Observance: It’s Volunteer Day!

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5: There isn’t a major religion in the world today that doesn’t honor the importance of helping others. That’s why ReadTheSpirit is proud to co-sponsor the Charter for Compassion, spearheaded by Karen Armstrong and the Dalai Lama. Here’s a story from June about that effort.

TODAY, whether you’re religious or not, you’re encouraged to pitch in on International Volunteer Day. As a fairly new development of the United Nations, International Volunteer Day sets fire to the passion involved in volunteering, and provides volunteer organizations an opportunity to promote their good deeds at local, national and international levels. (Visit the official site page here.) Many organizations also take this opportunity to initiate work with government agencies, other community groups and more.

This year, even more people will be celebrating! This year marks the 10th anniversary of the 2001 Year of Volunteers, and it also coincides with the European Year of Volunteering. Rallies, parades, free medical care and advocacy campaigns have always been a part of International Volunteer Day, but this year, these efforts will be stronger than ever. This year, organizers also will be reminding the world of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. (Join the online community on Facebook.) International Volunteer Day began in 1985, but the UN’s massive effort to meet the Millennium Development Goals—End Poverty and Hunger; Universal Education; Child Health; Environmental Sustainability and more—has been its main focus in recent years.

Can’t find an opportunity to volunteer? See what a difference you can make in just a couple of hours by visiting the UN’s volunteer site. Are your skills computer-related? The UN has an Online Volunteering Service, too! Whether you choose to volunteer in your community or from thousands of miles away on the Internet, know that you are making a difference. (Visit this site to learn five ways you can spread the word and work at volunteerism today.)

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