|My Account | Create New Account|
Volunteering HistoryMore than 83.9 million people volunteer in the United States alone, and their help is estimated to be worth $239 billion. These current numbers are backed by a long history of helping others without expecting anything in return.
Few formal charitable organizations existed before the 19th century, but after a religious revival known as the great awakening was experienced in America, people started to take more notice of those in need, which translated into movements such as the one against slavery. The youth in particular began to help the less fortunate in their communities. The first YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) was founded in 1851, followed by the first YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association ) seven years later. Throughout the Civil War, women donated their time to sew supplies for the combatants.
In the beginning of the 20th century, many volunteer organizations followed in the YMCA's footsteps, including the Rotary Club, Kiwanis, Lions Club and the precursor to the United Way. In the wake of the great depression, the first large-scale, nationwide effort to coordinate volunteerism for a specific need took place. Likewise, during World War II, thousands of volunteers helped with the needs of the military and the home front, such as collecting supplies, entertaining soldiers on leave, and tending to the injured.
After the war, the focus of volunteerism shifted to other areas, like helping the poor and volunteering overseas. The former gained momentum when President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a "War on Poverty" in 1964, while the development of the Peace Corps was crucial for the latter. Nowadays, volunteers contribute to a variety of religious, health, social service, arts, sports, political and educational organizations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics enumerates almost a dozen different activities that volunteers can help with, ranging from fund raising and the distribution of food, to coaching and mentoring.
News & Announcements
|© 1996-2011 volunteerimpact.org All Rights Reserved.|