Credits – Soomin Yoo
International Volunteer’s Day is celebrated on December 5th and gives a toast to volunteers’ efforts for sharing their labor, knowledge, and values. Mandated by the UN General Assembly since 1985, ever since the Day was an opportunity to promote their work around the world, including communities, non-governmental organizations, UN agencies, government authorities, and private sectors.
This year’s International Volunteer’s Day seems to be a little more special than any other year. Indeed, the virus ruined us, separated us apart, and acknowledged people again, the humans’ helplessness from the unstoppable disease. However, as Gould wrote in his article’ Time of Gifts’, good and kind people outnumbered all other factors thousands to one this year.
In the NHS, the UK’s national health service had more than 500,000 people signed up for citizens to join the ‘volunteer army,’ which was to support vulnerable people who have been told not to leave their homes.
Replacing the older people who are more profoundly affected by the virus, young adults actively volunteered in social communities, virtual education, fundraising campaigns.
Medical volunteers with mask-bruised faces are still out on the battlefield, saving countless lives. It is impossible to weigh the contributions of volunteering, but the feeling of empathy was undoubtedly heavy in 2020.
Due to the peculiar nature of 2020, the public could hear volunteers’ stories even more carefully than before. According to various media interviews, when asked why volunteers volunteered, people have mostly answered very merely; they wanted to do something at a crisis like today. They wanted to feel a connection with others. They tried to fulfill self-realization, learning the real value of volunteering during a challenging time. These reliable but straightforward reasons enabled the world to be a better place.
Despite the efforts that volunteers put on, there are still so many people in need of help. Polls have shown that people in low-income communities are greatly affected by the COVID-19 compared to wealthy states. Due to the highly contagious virus, sustainable education or protection for children. We still need help.
Celebrating international volunteer’s Day, we want to congratulate the volunteers for their devotion, giving care to others, and at the same time would like to strongly encourage people to join the sphere of sharing help and change the world around us. Finishing the article, I quote: “The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.” — Helen Keller.