Mark the 5th of December in your calendar if you haven’t already because it’s International Volunteers Day (IVD)! A globally recognised day that gives us a chance to celebrate the impact volunteers can make on local, national and international issues.
In this article, we’ll explain the day’s history, its original concept, and what it aims to achieve. Plus, we’ll discuss how you can get involved as a business or an individual and why it’s important to do so.
International Volunteers Day has been around since 1985. The UN mandated it as a way for organisations to draw attention to their causes, attract new volunteers, give thanks to current volunteers and celebrate their achievements. In addition, it’s a way to draw support from governments and corporations towards volunteer programs.
Since its inception, International Volunteers Day has been embraced in over 80 countries and by organisations at all levels, from communities and grass-roots groups to private sector and international businesses, nonprofit groups, and government and UN agencies.
The day is coordinated by United Nations Volunteers (UNV), who create and manage events worldwide and promote opportunities for volunteer groups to connect with governments and large-scale agencies.
The goal is always to raise awareness of the benefits of volunteering, and each year the day has a different theme. Past years have highlighted inclusivity, resilience and the importance of looking to the future. In 2022 the theme is Solidarity Through Volunteering and will focus on the ways we can benefit from standing together rather than struggling alone.
How businesses can get involved
Businesses can understandably make more of an impact when volunteering than individuals can. This is because they generally have more resources, a wider reach, and a larger platform to help amplify the message and raise interest in social change through volunteering.
The most effective ways for businesses to get involved with International Volunteer Day are to donate:
So why not look at your business and see if you can give your time to promote causes or motivate your workforce to assist in grassroots organisations? Donate funds or resources to a worthy cause, or use your experience and contacts to host an awareness or fundraising event. If you’re holding an event to raise awareness of a certain cause, you can also create your own custom printed awareness wristbands using our easy-to-use wristband designer. They’re a great asset at events and especially help to promote certain causes, especially when adding QR codes that take the wearer to websites where they can find out more information.
How individuals can get involved
Individuals can get involved with International Volunteers Day in many ways. One way is to engage with and promote the day itself. Connect with IVD on your social media channels and share-worthy events and causes.
IVD is celebrated with rallies, parades, volunteer fairs, group clean-ups, blood donations, conferences, exhibitions, workshops and volunteer recognition events. So see if there’s anything you’d like to get involved with.
If nothing is happening near you, consider hosting an event yourself. Reach out to local groups that work with or rely on volunteers and see if you can arrange a meetup or a rally to raise awareness for their work. If you are planning a large-scale event, consider using wristbands to help manage larger crowds, especially if you’re holding an outside event whereby it would be beneficial to easily distinguish who is part of your event and who isn’t. Our bulk packs of custom printed wristbands can be hugely helpful in managing large-scale events.
The Day Itself
A huge amount of hard work goes into any volunteer program, and a fair amount of stress and heartache too. But on International Volunteers Day, it’s important to remember the goal – to raise awareness of volunteerism’s benefits, highlight your successes, and celebrate those who volunteer alongside you.
So on International Volunteers Day, any events you organise or participate in should come with an ethos of celebration. You want to let the world know what you’ve achieved, what you hope to achieve in the future and what others can achieve by joining you.
The Bigger Picture
International Volunteers Day happens once a year, but that doesn’t mean we’re limited to only 24 hours of involvement. We have a social responsibility to do everything we can to improve the world around us – locally, nationally and internationally – every day of the year.
In keeping with this year’s International Volunteers Day theme of solidarity, it’s important to remember how much more impact we can make when we band together rather than working alone. Organisations can achieve substantially more than a single person and with less effort. So why not get your business focused on making a difference? There are benefits in it that go beyond being socially minded. You can expect enhanced brand recognition, an improved reputation, easier access to capital and investment, increased customer loyalty, and a happier and more engaged workforce.
And remember, the more you do throughout the year, the more you’ll have to highlight and celebrate on next year’s International Volunteers day!
Check out our other articles on awareness campaigns
If you’d like to know more about how we can help, check out our blog about how awareness wristbands can help your cause. And why not check out the meanings behind the various colours of awareness wristbands?
Ways we can help
At The Wristband Co. we regularly work with businesses and non-for-profits of all sizes. We are happy to assist in any way we can, including helping you find the right awareness wristbands for your organisation. Get in touch with us today on 08 8363 4850 or email us at [email protected] for more information.
You can find out more about our company here.
Meet the Author
Laura Sayer – Marketing Specialist at The Wristband Co.