What if volunteers didn’t show up?

Date: April 14, 2016

It’s National Volunteer Appreciation Week, a time to celebrate and thank all the dedicated volunteers who make such a tremendous impact in our communities.

But what would happen if those volunteers didn’t show up?

  • Many central Maryland children would go without backpacks, school supplies and new books. In addition, our volunteers provided 250 students with literacy, math and reading kits already this year, plus read to kids for Dr. Seuss Day.
  • The holidays wouldn’t be very bright. Our volunteers provided gifts and hope to over 150 families this past holiday season.
  • Families in need would stay in need. Our volunteers stepped up to help last month when 20 Anne Arundel County families were forced out of a dilapidated motel and had nowhere to go. During Project Homeless Connect, we served more than 1,700 children, individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Plus, after the unrest last year, our volunteers donated, collected and delivered more than 400 boxes of basic necessities to countless families affected.
  • There’d be no Thanksgiving meals. During United Way’s Harvest of Plenty campaign, volunteers packed and delivered turkey dinners so nearly 4,000 area families in need could enjoy a special meal together.

Without our volunteers:

  • Individuals and families would wait in line at soup kitchens but there wouldn’t be any food to eat or pre-made casseroles to take home.
  • Many playgrounds and recreation spaces wouldn’t be built and children would have nowhere safe to go after school.
  • Individuals and families who qualify for free tax preparation and filing wouldn’t know where to turn. That’s nearly 10,000 central Marylanders every year — and the tax money returned to these low-income earners brings more than $17 million back into our economy.
  • Healthy food wouldn’t get harvested, and leftover produce would rot instead of being gleaned and given to food banks and organizations serving those in need. That’s 65,000 pounds of food last year. No one would build and tend community gardens.
  • School classrooms and buildings would have peeling paint and broken-down exteriors.
  • Home-bound seniors would wait for food and a friendly face to bring it – but no meals would get delivered.
  • And so much more.

The economic impact of United Way of Central Maryland’s volunteers is nearly $1.6 million.* But the real impact is priceless. Our volunteers are changing lives, changing the odds for families and communities, and changing the world.

*Based on latest (2015) Database II survey which documented 4,169 UWCM board, committee and hands on volunteers in 2014 providing 69,192 hours.  Allowable calculation for that year was $23.07/hour ($1,596,259)    

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For more than 90 years, United Way of Central Maryland has been improving lives in the communities it serves: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County, Maryland.

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