April 21st through the 27th is National Volunteer Week across the USA. This week is the time to pick up new habits in volunteering, be that at the animal shelter, for a local non-profit, or just helping your elderly neighbor with yard work during the spring and summer months. It was started as a way to thank individuals for their dedication to non-profit work, back in 1974, and has evolved since then to include programs across the country to help get youth involved in volunteering, and invigorate a community’s sense of pride, and of course still thank outstanding, selfless individuals.
There’s a saying that goes “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”, and I think that applies doubly for volunteer work. Volunteers do what they do for the love of the cause, be that animals, children, medical research, the environment or any number of other projects. They don’t get paid, the work is normally tough, but they show up day after day to do it again. That’s dedication, and it absolutely deserves recognition.
Volunteer lapel pins are a great “thank you” gift for volunteers, regardless of the project. I’ve had corporations call us up to order 5,000 of these for their annual awards dinner, and I’ve had individuals call up wanting 25 pins so that they could hand them out to the friends and neighbors who help them get their groceries into the house and keep their grass trimmed for them. Volunteering is so much bigger, more diverse, and rewarding than a lot of people give it credit for.
I wouldn’t recommend getting into volunteering just for the volunteer lapel pins (though that is obviously a perk), but whatever motivates you to dive into a project locally or globally, do it. And drag a friend along: they’ll be great company and you’ll build memories for a lifetime. And then you can rock your volunteer lapel pins together. Happiness is best shared!