by Abby Landmeier
April is host to National Volunteer Month. Across Mesa County, hundreds of hours are given each day, thousands a year. Each hour leads us to having a stronger community and keeping access to essential services going. Volunteering helps an organization and empowers individuals. Lending thought to the democracy we have, volunteering is a way to vote on what is needed in the community directly with your investment of time.
Volunteer hours are invaluable; however, research has been done to determine what it would look like if we were to associate economic impact. According to Independent Sector, the value of a volunteer hour is $26.78 in Colorado. Giving three hours a week leaves an annual economic impact of $4,177.68. For a nonprofit, volunteers are essential to keeping core services robust and of quality. This impact helps lower what the agency would expend on paid staffing. Above all, it provides a human touch that we need.
Moving the needle on better community health outcomes can happen through volunteering. Many of the services we have in Mesa County are made possible by people giving their time. Walking away knowing you made an impact or helped the organization achieve their core mission is powerful.
At an individual level, we’re learning how much healthier we are when we’re socially connected. Volunteering is one avenue of creating this.
Tips for seeking a volunteer position:
Where to look for volunteer opportunities:
Abby Landmeier is Manager of Community Funding at United Way of Mesa County. She has supervised volunteers for United Way’s citizen review process to allocate funding to programs. She volunteers her time at the board level to the Partnership for Children and Families, City of Grand Junction’s Parks and Recreation and Mesa County Library District.