National Volunteer Week (April 10-16, 2011).

Monday, April 11, 2011

Big Sister and her grandparents kicked off National Volunteer Week by participating in a Little Helping Hands activity that involved shoveling gravel and improving the Relief Nursery of Central Texas playground.

During National Volunteer Week, as always, it is important to recognize the many volunteers who give generously and tirelessly to help others and improve our communities.  We celebrate the extraordinary impact that they, collectively, have on our communities.  We should each look to volunteers around us for inspiration and encouragement.  Most importantly, we must each challenge ourselves -- to find new ways to serve others, engage in our communities, and be better citizens.

Regardless of how you feel about President Obama, please read these parts of his recent presidential proclamation to kick off National Volunteer Week 2011 and think about how you can help:

America's story has been marked by the service of volunteers.  Generations of selfless individuals from all walks of life have served each other and our Nation, each person dedicated to making tomorrow better than today.  They exemplify the quintessential American idea that we can change things, make things better, and solve problems when we work together.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our schools and shelters, hospitals and hotlines, and faith-based and community groups.  From mentoring at-risk youth and caring for older Americans to supporting our veterans and military families and rebuilding after disasters, these everyday heroes make a real and lasting impact on the lives of millions of women and men across the globe.

Last year, nearly 63 million Americans gave of themselves through service.  Their compassion is a testament to the generosity of the American spirit.  In difficult times, Americans are coming together -- tackling our challenges instead of ignoring them -- and renewing the principle that we are our brother's keeper and our sister's keeper.

Today, as many Americans face hardship, we need volunteers more than ever.  Service opportunities tap the energy and ingenuity of our greatest resource -- the American people -- to improve our neighborhoods and our world. . . . 

During National Volunteer Week, we celebrate the profound impact of volunteers and encourage all Americans to discover their own power to make a difference.  Every one of us has a role to play in making our communities and our country stronger.  I encourage all Americans to help us renew progress and prosperity and build a brighter future for our Nation by visiting to find a local project.

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