North Carolinians Encouraged to Volunteer in Local Communities or Virtually
Raleigh, NC (STL.News) Governor Roy Cooper has declared April 18 – 24, 2021 as National Volunteer Week in North Carolina to celebrate the work of volunteers and encourage more North Carolinians to become volunteers. North Carolina residents can mark the week by volunteering in their communities, including virtually. Read the proclamation.
“I’m so grateful for the many North Carolinians who give back by volunteering, whether helping out at food banks or vaccination events, aiding disaster survivors, tutoring kids, or checking on seniors,” Governor Cooper said. “The pandemic means volunteers are needed even more, and I strongly encourage people to volunteer and support volunteer organizations.”
Information on volunteer opportunities statewide is available through VolunteerNC, an agency within the Office of the Governor that promotes community service and volunteering across North Carolina. Opportunities include volunteering onsite, outdoors, from home or virtually. Some of the greatest needs during this time include volunteering at food banks and food pantries, at vaccine sites and working to repair and rebuild homes damaged by hurricanes. In most cases, no previous experience is needed and skills-based training may be available.
Volunteer Week will also mark the launch of All in for NC, a new effort to encourage more North Carolinians to become volunteers. Learn more at Join us at allin.nc.gov.
“All in NC is a call to action for volunteers who are fully committed to serving the communities in which they live, especially those who want to improve lives and strengthen communities when it’s needed most: during hurricanes, floods or pandemics,” said Caroline Farmer, Executive Director for VolunteerNC. “We need individuals to help right now with food banks and vaccine events.”
Approximately 35% of North Carolinians volunteered in 2020, according to nationalservice.gov. During the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations report that 96,041 volunteers have put in 345,860 hours to help in a variety of ways. Since April of 2020, volunteers have helped provide more than 39 million meals to North Carolinians in need.
In a survey conducted last year, many North Carolina nonprofits indicated increased demand for their services due to the COVID-19 pandemic and identified the need for more people to serve as volunteers.
Governor Cooper particularly encouraged state employees to use their community service leave to volunteer their time and talents. Due to COVID-19, state employees have additional leave that can be used to volunteer, including up to 80 hours of expanded community service leave. State employees should talk with their supervisors about using community service leave.
National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 by Presidential Proclamation to acknowledge and promote the value of community service across the country. National Volunteer Week has been federally celebrated each year since then, as well as through many state and local offices across the country.