Let’s celebrate National Volunteer Week to recognize the invaluable contributions of our volunteers.

Volunteers improve lives. Volunteers are the bond that holds our communities together. Volunteers make the world a genuinely better place. Did you know that volunteering is also good for our bodies and minds? People who volunteer are happier and more confident than those who don’t. People who volunteer even have less chronic pain and a lower mortality rate than others. Just wow!

2021 Census
Of course, the non-economic worth is absolutely priceless. Not counted is the greater than half of the American population (16 and over) who ‘unofficially’ helped their neighbors during this time.

Volunteers are, of course, at the heart and center of our vision at Literacy Volunteers, where we strive for “a literate, thriving community where words can be read, written, spoken and understood, and where people can attain their goals and fully participate in society.” Since 1985, more than 5,430 tutors have donated above 533,603 hours to support over 14,868 students in their literacy goals!


It has consistently been shown that Americans donate their time more than any other country in the world. The word ‘volunteer,’ first related to military service, is from the late 16th-century French word ‘volontaire,’ or ‘voluntary.’ Later, the model of citizens (versus the government) sustaining the social safety net became the ideal in the US. A few key dates among many in our history:

  • Benjamin Franklin created the first unpaid fire crew in 1736 in Philadelphia.
  • President FDR established the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1933.
  • President JFK said famously in his inaugural speech in 1961: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
  • National Volunteer Week was launched in 1943 to recognize WWII service members.
  • The week was officially signed as an executive order by President Nixon in 1974.

Come visit us so we can say thank you in person!