Because it’s more important than ever. Sure, we all get a warm, fuzzy feeling when we do community service – whether it’s raising money for a fundraiser, painting a house, or playing monopoly with a 3rd grader….
Have you ever stopped to think about how many people depend on those volunteers? In Greensboro and all over the country, nonprofit organizations depend on a constant stream of volunteers to fulfill their mission. Federally funded programs such as Americorps and Teach for America strategically place volunteers in nonprofits nationwide to help support local communities. But these programs, as dependable and successful as they have been in the past, were among the first programs under scrutiny when budgets got tight. The National Corporation for Community Service – the umbrella organization that coordinates the Americorps program and others – was cut $72 million dollars from 2010. The Learn and Serve America program was cut completely, and the Americorps programs received a $23 million dollar cut. This was all during a time when the organizational requests for volunteers have nearly doubled compared to previous years.
So, why should we care? We are seeing budget cuts affect our local agencies that are addressing the most pressing issues right here in Greensboro. The volunteers of the past that coordinated community food drives or organized students at events are no longer there. The infrastructure of many of the organizations within our community are at risk – and we can help. By volunteering, we can help minimize the impact of these cuts and help local nonprofits fulfill their missions to the community.
My name is Kristin, and I have just recently joined the United Way Young Leaders – a group of amazing young professionals dedicated to philanthropy and service in the Greensboro area. I’ve only attended a few events so far, but it’s already clear to me that these folks care about our community and its success. In an environment where we are shrinking back into our core being – either out of necessity, defensiveness, uncertainty, or fear – we must remember to reach out to others. Together we can Live United.
“The road to success is not crowded. Because while most are looking for ways to take, the truly successful people are finding ways to give. With a giving attitude, every situation is an opportunity for success.” - Unknown
United Way of Greater Greensboro funds programs and initiatives that are meeting the critical needs in our community in the areas of Education, Income Stability and Health. Each program and initiative is evaluated throughout the year to ensure it meets critical need in the community, is making an impact, and aligns with United Way’s objectives. Blog post written by Kristin Buchner, Graduate Assistant for Community Engagement & United Way Volunteer.