April is National Volunteer Month

National Volunteer Month recognizes the value and impact of volunteers. These selfless individuals bring hope to others and help to make our communities better.

The spirit of volunteerism is alive and well in Denton County, as many contribute tens of thousands of hours each year to more than a hundred organizations. Across the world, an estimated 1 billion individuals donate their time to help others, equaling the efforts of around 109 million full-time employees. In the U.S., volunteers spend an average of 52 hours of their time each year.

People in Denton County find many available opportunities to serve their neighbors through volunteering. Even during the pandemic, volunteers made themselves available to help others. This is something that makes Denton County a special place to call home.

From Robson Ranch residents volunteering as mentors at local schools or working to feed the homeless at Our Daily Bread to retired medical personnel who respond to emergencies with our Medical Reserve Corps, Denton County residents spend their time and energy giving back.

Being a volunteer is a way to give to others, but oftentimes, they receive something in return. Research shows volunteering reduces stress, anger, and anxiety and helps them to live happier, more fulfilled lives.

Volunteering also provides a path to connect with others. The common bond of volunteering often forges newfound friendships and brings people together who might not otherwise cross paths.

Some volunteers discover a new passion through their service. Encouraging our youth to volunteer can serve as a passage to a lifelong career.

I am eternally grateful for the work of our non-profits and our volunteers. I am especially drawn to non-profits that serve those who need an extra hand in becoming independent, such as the Life Works Community in Denton.

This organization provides assistance to individuals with intellectual disabilities by offering a wide range of services, including teaching them about self-care, and food preparation, enabling them to participate in the workforce, job coaching, and enjoying extra-curricular activities from volunteering in the Denton Great American Clean-Up to helping with fundraisers. These individuals are also looking for volunteer opportunities. To find out more, visit Life works community.

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Denton County is another great opportunity to give back to those in need. This organization provides trained community volunteers who advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. They serve as a Guardian Ad Litem in court after Child Protective Services has removed children from their homes. Find out more here.

One way to find volunteer opportunities that match your interests is through volunteermatch.org. If you prefer to work with animals or have skills to share in arts and culture, you can find opportunities available across Denton County.

Celebrate this month and give a gift to yourself – become a volunteer.

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