Guest Author: Ernie Smith, Associations Now
The event, turning 45 this year, has some associations in a thanking mood and others launching new ideas for their members. Read on to see how different groups are taking part this week.
National Volunteer Week has a decades-long history, which includes some direct presidential influence—after all, it was launched in 1974 with an executive order signed by President Richard Nixon.
But another president looms just a little bit larger. Remember President George H.W. Bush’s popular catchphrase related to volunteerism, “a thousand points of light”? That phrase, uttered during his inaugural address 30 years ago, came to inspire the name of Points of Light, the charity Bush started that helps draw attention to volunteering around the country, particularly during National Volunteer Week, taking place April 7–13 this year.
It’s no wonder so many associations are taking time this week to highlight their volunteers, along with their latest initiatives. Among them:
American Lung Association. The group, launched 115 years ago, was built on the back of volunteers, the group notes, and ALA took time this week to highlight four of them, including Nancy Vandespool, a lung cancer survivor who took part in the association’s Lock Up Lung Cancer campaign last fall. “I share my voice because we all need a hug and a smile,” Vandespool, a native of Puerto Rico, told the association. “We all need to know that there’s always a light at the end of the road.”