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Volunteerism and the YMCA

April 11, 2022

Why Volunteerism?

According to Nonprofitssource.com, volunteering is one of the most important and beneficial actions that we can take as human beings. Our ability to give of our time and talents can make an immense difference in the communities that we call home. [caption id="attachment_16803" align="aligncenter" width="300"]YMCA Volunteer The shirt says it all![/caption]   Volunteers are a fantastic resource for charitable nonprofits. Without volunteers, many nonprofit organizations would be unable to run programs, raise funds, or serve clients/members. [caption id="attachment_16773" align="alignright" width="179"]HRH Y Gobble Gallop Volunteers HRH YMCA Volunteers at the 2019 Gobble Gallop 5K.[/caption]

Here Are The Numbers on Volunteerism

• Approximately 63 million Americans — 25% of the adult population — volunteer their time, talents, and energy to making a difference. • The 2016 national value of volunteer time is $24.14 per hour. Americans contribute $193 billion of their time to our communities. • Women volunteer at higher rates (27.8%) than men (21.8%). • People aged 35-44 and 45-54 are most likely to volunteer (28.9% and 28% respectively) while 20-24 year olds have the lowest rates (18.4%). [caption id="attachment_16776" align="alignleft" width="213"]Southport High School Students Volunteer at Baxter Southport High School Students Volunteer[/caption] • On average, people spend an average of 52 hours per year volunteering their time. • 72% of volunteers are involved with only one organization, while 18.3% are involved with two. • The top four areas for volunteerism are for religious (34.1%), educational (26%), social service (14.9%), and health (7.3%) organizations. • Volunteers are almost twice as likely to donate to a charity than those that don’t volunteer according to The Corporation for National & Community Service. • Volunteerism improves health by strengthening the body, improving mood, and lessening stress in participants. • 60% of hiring managers see the act of volunteerism as a valuable asset when making recruitment decisions according to a study performed by Career Builder. • Volunteers are 66% more likely to donate financially to the organization they support than those who do not volunteer their time. [caption id="attachment_16793" align="alignright" width="300"]Witham YMCA Breakfast with Santa Volunteers Witham YMCA Breakfast with Santa Volunteers[/caption]

Volunteerism And The YMCA

The YMCA of the USA says the YMCA as an organization has a long history of volunteerism. In 1844, George Williams launched the YMCA movement in London as a volunteer, and his example persists in the expansion of the Y across the globe. In the United States, early YMCA programs were run almost entirely by volunteers. [caption id="attachment_16799" align="alignleft" width="300"]Ortho Indy YMCA Volunteers of the Year Ortho Indy YMCA Volunteers of the Year[/caption] In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln led to the recruitment of YMCA volunteers. Eventually numbering 5,000, members of the U.S. Christian Commission who then served as surgeons, nurses and chaplains during the Civil War. Volunteers distributed medical supplies, food and clothing, and taught soldiers to read and write. Volunteer needs have changed over time but the opportunity to volunteer at a YMCA is just has prolific as it was in 1844. The YMCA's of Greater Indianapolis provide volunteer projects that range from long term assignments such as internships, and recurring needs such as committee members, board of advisors, towel folders, filers, and copying, in addition to more temporary options such as sports league coaches, event planning and assistance, and so much more! [caption id="attachment_16800" align="alignright" width="300"] Service trip to Jamaica; the YMCA formerly known as Intercollegiate.[/caption]

In 2019, the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis reports the following volunteer numbers for all YMCA's in the Indianapolis area:

  • Registered Volunteers: 1050
  • Projects:  183
  • Assignments to projects:  1946
  • Hours volunteers gave:  22,975.5
Our volunteers make a huge impact on what we can accomplish within our communities.  It is because of volunteers that we were able to raise, Association wide,  just over $3,000,000 for our 2019 Annual Campaign which supports individuals and families within our communities that might not otherwise be able to afford a membership or programs at the Y.  Those same volunteers have helped us coach basketball, soccer, track and field in addition to being an extra set of hands during swim lessons, in Play and Learn, and our preschool classrooms.  The list goes on and on, but at the end of the day it just comes down to the same thing, our volunteers are just the best! [caption id="attachment_16804" align="aligncenter" width="300"]UIndy Students participate in our Spring Clean UIndy Students participate in our Spring Clean[/caption] While this blog may seem primarily informative, it is in fact, a bit of a "love letter" to our volunteers.  We want you to know how much impact you have had on your neighbors; we want you to know that we recognize the fact that without you in our corner, we would not experience the successes that we have experienced; without you we wouldn't be the YMCA! If you or someone you know is interested in giving back through volunteerism, please use this link to see what potential projects we have that you might be interested in getting involved with.  We would love to have you help us make an impact! [caption id="attachment_16805" align="alignleft" width="300"] Avondale Meadows YMCA Youth and Government volunteering at Watkins Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service[/caption] [caption id="attachment_16796" align="alignleft" width="300"] Nursing students from IUPUI teach kids about nutrition and physical activity through the GOAL program.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_16801" align="alignleft" width="300"] Volunteerism at our Laurelwood distribution center[/caption]           [caption id="attachment_16807" align="alignleft" width="500"] Avondale Meadows YMCA Toy Drive volunteers from Tom Wood.[/caption]

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