By: Leslie Patt, Work and Travel Policy and Compliance Manager

Have you wanted to start volunteering, but do not know where to start?  How about starting today for International Volunteer Day!


Designated by the United Nations (UN) in 1985, International Volunteer Day is a day set aside to recognize the importance of volunteering around the world.  It is also a chance for individuals, communities, and organizations to bring light to their contributions on local, national, and international levels.  Many countries have used International Volunteer Day to showcase contributions to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a blueprint agreed to by all nations (in the UN) and leading institutions to meet the needs of the world’s poorest people.  These goals range from ensuring environmental sustainability, empowering women, improving maternity health, and promoting universal education.

To promote volunteerism in support of peace and development, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program mobilizes almost 8,000 volunteers around the world.  They advocate for the recognition of volunteers and work to integrate volunteerism in developing countries. Active in approximately 130 countries every year, 80% of the volunteers come from developing countries and 30% volunteer in their home country. To learn more about UNV, please visit their website.

To start volunteering, visit some of these websites to connect with organizations near you!

And don’t forget about the Greenheart Club! New this year is the Greenheart International website. This means anyone can be a part of Greenheart’s mission to connect people and planet to create a more peaceful and sustainable global community.

We hope that not only will participants from the Work and Travel program volunteer this week, but all programs and all people around the world. Go Greenheart!