A Wave of Volunteers for Nonprofits

March 17, 2009

Center for Nonprofit

With all the jobless individuals out there, many have turned to volunteerism to fill their time, to sharpen their skills and to network with people.  Many nonprofit organizations are scrambling to manage the overflow of applicants with waiting lists and some are struggling with funding.

In light of the challenges nonprofits are facing, the symbiotic relationship being met by the volunteer and the charity is truly inspiring.  Julie Bosman with The New York Times reports on just how pumped up and enthusiastic the volunteers are:

“Right now, I could volunteer about five times a week,” said Emily Jimenez, 29, who lives on Staten Island and was laid off last month from the Milford Plaza hotel in Midtown. “If they’d want me to.”

Katherine Howie, an out-of-work lawyer, wrote “N/A currently” under employment information on the orientation forms. “I don’t mind making a commitment,” she said. “I’m happy to work with children, or sports, or recreation. I just want something to fill my time.”

Nini Duh, 29, was laid off from Lehman Brothers in September and now volunteers at any number of places — an elementary school, a finance workshop in Chinatown — nearly every day. It is a welcome change from her 100-hour weeks before her investment bank went bankrupt.

So while the nonprofit organizations are managing this wave of eager volunteers, the volunteers are taking away experiences that will last a lifetime.  Breaking away from the day to day grind, having the satisfaction of helping others and hopefully becoming inspired with the new experiences they have.

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