United Way of Chattanooga

Live United when you volunteer

National Volunteer Week will be April 12-18, 2015. It's about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek ways to engage in their community. It’s about Living United – demonstrating that we meet our challenges not as isolated individuals but as members of a true community with all of us working together. During this week we encourage individuals and communities to be at the center of social change discovering their power to make a difference.

It’s also an opportunity to whet appetites for change through volunteerism and get people plugged into service throughout the remainder of the year through United Way's Volunteer Center at www.iHelpChattanooga.org.

  • The United Way Volunteer Center used, placed or recruited 11,598 volunteers for 125 nonprofit organizations in 2014.
  • The Volunteer Center hosts the annual volunteer awards banquet every year during this week.
  • Volunteer of the Year Awards are given in the following seven areas - Youth Who Volunteer, Community, Education, Environment, Health, Corporate and National Service Volunteers.
  • Locally, Volunteer Week is always co-sponsored by United Way’s Volunteer Center, DOVIA (Directors of Volunteers in Agencies) and the Corporate Volunteer Council (a group of corporate volunteers giving back to our community).

Volunteering United


It began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing April as an annual celebration of volunteering. Every President since has signed a proclamation promoting volunteerism. Additionally, governors, mayors and other elected officials make public statements and sign proclamations in support of this time.

Facts about volunteering

Volunteer numbers:
About 60.8 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2006 and September 2007, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported.

Increasing volunteers:
About 44.6 percent of volunteers became involved with their main organization after being asked to volunteer, most often by someone in the organization. In other words, you can increase volunteerism by 44 percent just by asking people directly to volunteer.

Health benefits of volunteering:

An analysis of data from the Longitudinal Study of Aging found that those individuals who volunteer have lower mortality rates than those who do not, even when controlling for physical health.

Community benefits:

In fact, research has shown a relationship between communities with high levels of social capital—our social connectedness or social networks and the related norms of trust and reciprocity—and a community’s quality of life as measured by such indicators as higher levels of parental engagement in schools, stronger local economies, less crime, and lower incidence of illnesses. Communities with high levels of neighbors working with and helping each other are more healthy and vibrant places to live and work.








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