“Black Chen, a 30-year-old tattooed bar owner, had never volunteered before the coronavirus outbreak hit his hometown of Wuhan, but he quickly stepped up. … [These volunteering] acts are personal, like a young woman who handed out masks to street cleaners and a mom who hired a helicopter to fly in supplies.” (February 24, 2020, TIME).
It is utterly heartwarming to read about how young Chinese resident volunteers are helping to ease the burden this COVID-19 outbreak is having on their local community and family members. In addition to these examples, there are countless other stories of young (and any-age) people quietly “doing good” throughout this humanitarian crisis that remain unknown. What should be noted from the article, is how this crisis has spurred on a new generation of volunteers who are are ready to take the torch of volunteering from older generations, particularly when their older-age counterparts are incapable of volunteering themselves.
As we rightfully praise and thank these young crisis volunteers for putting their health on the line, let’s be careful to not forget about, or thank, the any-age volunteers who regularly help manage our global, national and local community programs/events throughout a given calendar year. The tasks volunteers sign up for that are not particularly fantastic, or remarkable in any way. Or thank the people who volunteer for a once-in-a-while activity, such as helping to run a festival, sporting event, or a large-scale corporate occasion. These are the types of events that encourage community celebration and connectivity, enriching our lives.
Regardless of how many hours volunteers sign up for, volunteers are the ones who provide tremendous support to nonprofits and for the functioning of a large number of community events. Without volunteer help, many nonprofits, for example, would simply not exist. Volunteers are typically the first ones to work on a natural disaster response team, sign up to help run/manage a leisure event at home or afar, or make themselves available on a regular basis for their favorite charity. These unsung heroes quietly volunteer to make in a difference in their community when no one is looking.
Given that many volunteer acts go unnoticed, we’d like to change this. Please reach out to us through email, or a comment below, indicating you know of a volunteer who has traveled to volunteer, or who volunteers for a fantastic nonprofit in your local community. Perhaps it is you (and this is okay!). We’d like to feature their (or your) volunteering story on the website and on our social media outlets. Thank you quiet volunteer heroes!