Volunteers are crucial to the success of any nonprofit organization. The value of time and talents they bring to an organization cannot be understated. Volunteers cheerfully pitch in wherever needed, helping with programs, serving on committees and boards, and furthering the mission of an organization.
According to a recent article from NonProfit Source, about 25% of adults in the United States volunteer.
Volunteers on average donate 52 hours of their time annually, and about three-quarters devote their time to primarily one organization. About 40% of people became volunteers with their main organization after being asked to volunteer. In 2016, the estimated national value of volunteer time was approximately $24 an hour. This translated to over $190 billion worth of time to nonprofit organizations in this country. This total is sure to have increased in the intervening years, and represents an enormous economic contribution to nonprofit organizations which often operate with small staffs and limited budgets. Today there are websites available which can match potential volunteers with organizations needing help.
Since our founding in 2001, the museum has relied on volunteers to help us carry out our mission—to teach the lessons of the Holocaust to inspire action against bigotry, hatred and violence. Our volunteers serve in a variety of positions. Among these are as guest relations representatives and docents in the museum, volunteer educators, event committee members and board members.
Our dedicated volunteers range from high school students to retirees. They are Holocaust Survivors and the children of survivors, students, teachers and former teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, small business owners and more. They are full time residents and seasonal residents. Each has their own reason for joining us. Some because of an initial visit to the museum with family and friends or with
a private group. Others were “recruited” by friends already volunteering here. And, there are even those inspired by their 8th grade field trip to our museum. The common thread is their belief in the museum’s mission.
One thing all our volunteers note is how much they enjoy their interactions with visitors touring the museum, or attending one of our programs. They appreciate the fact that visitors, from across the country and more than 45 countries, are eager to learn more about Holocaust history, and the personal stories we share about Southwest Florida Holocaust Survivors. Volunteers have said they themselves often learn something new as guests share family connections to the Holocaust and World War II.
Since our founding in 2001, museum volunteers have helped over half a million people learn the historical reasons why respect for each other is so important. They have encouraged students and visitors to carry this message to family and friends. In doing so, our volunteers have created an enormous positive ripple effect across the country and the world, inspiring others to be “Upstanders”—taking action against bigotry, hatred and violence.
Featured Photo: Bailey Reum, Guest Relations
If you are interested in joining our volunteer family, please contact me for more information – Susan@HMCEC.org or call 239.263.9200