How Was Your National Volunteer Month? – The Importance of Helping Those in Need This Month and Every Month
April is National Volunteer Month, and we were encouraged to help those in need in our communities. As this month comes to a close, we reflect on how community hero, Founder, and Executive Director of New Heights Community Resource Center and Mind Your Mission, Connie Bobo assists those with less with her designated food programs.
What is National Volunteer Month All About?
April celebrates and honors the significant impact people who regularly volunteer have on society. Those who volunteer do so for others, and the only payment they receive is the good feeling of satisfaction that comes with aiding the less fortunate. If you are an avid year-round volunteer, this month is a time to teach others about the effect volunteering can have on those we help.
The first National Volunteer celebration was National Volunteer Week, held in Canada in 1943 to honor the women who nursed the wounded during World War II. Since its inception, the week has grown to an entire month, and rightly so, with the whole month of April officially awarded to volunteers worldwide in 1990.
Park clean-ups, food drives, shelter assistance, clothing drives, soup kitchen volunteering, tutoring students who need extra help, mentoring a child, and book readings and donations are just some of the ways we can help out. We prompt you to join those who fight to make the world a better place for the rest of this month and beyond.
Who is Connie Bobo, and How Does She Help Her Community?
The beauty of volunteering is that it strengthens and serves you, your community, the economy, and the level of engagement your community has as a connected group. Ms Bobo runs New Heights Community Resource Center and Mind Your Mission in St. Louis. She and her organizations are very active on Facebook; they help bring food to people in need.
Ms Bobo holds a bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communications. She is a Certified Nonprofit Professional and Technical Assistant. Ms Bobo works as a Professional Development Instructor in her free time and has over 20 years of volunteer and community service experience. Her further expertise includes nonprofit coaching, business development and funding, and professional development seminar training.
But before all of her accomplishments came struggle, which is why she is inspired to help others. Ms Bobo transferred from a predominantly white school to one with 95% Black students, and the differences were shocking.
“My 10th grade English book was the same book I had in the 5th grade at Lindbergh School District,”Connie explained.
The glaring lack of resources in the community she belonged to is what she now works to combat. With a small happy ending in the middle of her story, the ill-stocked Riverview high school that Connie attended was later stripped of its accreditation by the state.
“Winning is a conscious choice that I had to make regardless of my circumstances. I had to respect the process that everyone who reaches success endures,” said Ms Bobo of her journey. “I’ve now pushed beyond the basics, and it’s time to pay it forward. That is why I do what I do.”
How Can You Celebrate National Volunteer Month?
The first thing to remember is that you don’t have to limit volunteering to April! This month celebrates and brings awareness, but good-hearted selfless care for others extends all year round.
According to National Today, great ways to celebrate National Volunteer Month include volunteering at an organization. “Nonprofits receive an overwhelming number of requests in April, so if you can’t get a spot in, don’t push the idea away. Sign up for volunteering for some other month this year — but make sure you do volunteer!” It also recommends throwing appreciation volunteers’ parties and celebrating on social media with the hashtag NationalVolunteersMonth