Valley celebrates service

National Volunteer Week through Sunday is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. It’s about demonstrating to the nation that by working together, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.

National Volunteer Week is about taking action and encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change — discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to foster positive transformation.
Sponsored by Points of Light, National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 and has grown exponentially each subsequent year, with thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week.

National Volunteer draws the support and endorsement of U.S. presidents, governors, mayors and other respected elected officials. The anniversary of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and the resonant call to serve from President Obama, makes National Volunteer Week even more energizing and inspiring.

Visit: www.communitythreadmn.org or www.communitythreadconnect.org for more information regarding National Volunteer Week activities.

Local volunteerism

Locally, Community Thread is the HandsOn Network partner serving Washington County in Minnesota and Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix counties in Wisconsin.

During National Volunteer Week, Community Thread and non-profits throughout our communities pause to extend a special thanks to the outstanding volunteers who support our organizations and missions. Volunteerism in Washington County and the St. Croix Valley has never been more vibrant and exciting. Volunteerism is also critical to maintaining the quality of life for the entire region.

The accomplishments of some of Washington County’s most inspiring volunteers were recognized Tuesday during the annual Community Involvement Awards Ceremony at 9 a.m. in the Washington County Government Center. During this award, four awards were given to honor volunteers who provide an inspiring vision for volunteerism and clearly demonstrate why celebrating people in action is so important.

In 2012, Community Thread worked with 50 partner organizations to provide volunteer opportunities to more than 1,900 residents. In addition, special volunteer focused events at Community Thread helped the community unleash the power of volunteerism. Here’s how:

The Fourth Annual Spring Into Service Event engaged 300 volunteers at 17 different sites completing 900 hours of service for a value of $19,611 on one day.
The 12th Annual Rake A Difference Day initiative engaged 716 volunteers in raking 87 different yards completing 2,148 hours of service for a value of $46,805.

The Third Annual Building Better Lives Volunteer Expo connected 30 nonprofit organizations who were looking for volunteers with more than 150 individuals and groups that were looking for volunteer opportunities.

For more information on National Volunteer Week, Community Thread, or the Community Involvement Awards ceremony, contact Valerie Jones, executive director at Community Thread at 651-439-7434, Valerie@communitythreadmn.org.

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