Volunteer value

Every April, one week is officially recognized as National Volunteer Week across the country. This year, that was April 21-27.

The week is designated to be a time to thank and recognize people doing amazing things through service to others. National Volunteer Week started in 1974 and brings national attention to the impact and power volunteerism has on local communities.

The United Way of Southwest Minnesota is very thankful for all of those who ‘LIVE UNITED’ each and every day of the year through volunteerism. Countless hours are donated by community members and board members from across our service area. The time and talent of individuals throughout Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, western Redwood and Yellow Medicine counties is awe-inspiring. There is always someone willing to give an extra hour or lend a hand.

We are able to do our job more effectively and efficiently because of those who dedicate precious hours to our organization and the agency partners we work with. Thank you.

When my tenure at the United Way began, we started tracking volunteer time donated back to our organization. In doing so, we’ll be able to effectively track total hours donated and be able to break that down further by county and by community. This will allow us to better quantify the enormous value volunteers provide and illustrate the wide range of community support given to the United Way of Southwest Minnesota. While it is difficult to put an exact dollar value on volunteer time, in 2012, the Independent Sector estimated the value to be $22.14 per hour.

There are many volunteer opportunities available with the United Way and with our many valuable community partners. We have created a volunteer menu, which breaks down what opportunities exist within our organization.

There are one time projects and short and longer term commitment options available.

By visiting the Volunteer Tab on our website, you can also view volunteer opportunities available through community partners who have registered through our site. For more information on how you can work in partnership with the United Way of Southwest Minnesota visit our website at UnitedWaySWMN.org, give us a call at 507-929-2273 or stop by our office on South 5th Street in Marshall.

Once again, thank you to all of you who invest your time, talent, energy and passion in the United Way of Southwest Minnesota and in the other valuable and worthwhile causes throughout our region.

When people mobilize for the greater good, community impact happens, making this an even better place to live and work.

The United Way of Southwest Minnesota is a local, autonomous organization working to create lasting change in people’s lives throughout the communities in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine and western Redwood counties.

Our focus is on education, income, health, safety and well-being and hunger.