Saturday, April 10, 2010

National Volunteer Week

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National Volunteer Week runs from April 18 through April 24 this year. This week is about recognizing those individuals who have engaged in their community. It's about showing the nation that we meet our challenges not as isolated individuals but as members of a true community with all of us working together. It is about all the wonderful things the volunteers do.

Many nursing home volunteers have assisted the staff in enriching the lives of the residents in oh so many ways. Some of the volunteers serve coffee and doughnuts. Some lead religious services. Some provide assistance at bingo or another activity. Some play musical instruments or lead a sing a long. Others visit residents with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias. They help to keep the minds of these folks active. Some just take time to put a smile on the faces of the residents. Of course, our volunteers help in many other ways but they are just too numerous to mention.

The theme of National Volunteer Week this year is "Celebrating People in Action". We are extremely fortunate to have these individuals, young and old, take such an interest in the happiness of the residents.

National Volunteer Week began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing a week in April as an annual celebration of volunteering. Since then, every U.S. President has signed a proclamation promoting National Volunteer Week. Also, governors, mayors, and other elected officials make public statements and sign proclamations in support of National Volunteer Week.

In 2003, President Bush created the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation to explore ways to acknowledge the worthwhile contributions volunteers are making in our Nation.

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