We’re in the final stretch of Global Volunteer Month 2023, and continuing to celebrate individuals and organizations around the world affecting change and advocating for social good. We’ve been featuring a handful of Points of Light Global Network affiliates who are positively impacting their communities through volunteer recruitment, recognition and special events throughout April.
The Points of Light Global Network operates with a network of innovative volunteer-mobilizing organizations that serve more than 145 affiliates across 39 countries around the world. Together, we are inspiring, equipping and mobilizing more people to use their time, talent and resources to create positive change in their communities.
L.A. Works is a member of the Points of Light Global Network and is Los Angeles’ largest volunteer action center. The organization aims to unite Angelenos and inspire action for a more equitable Los Angeles.
We spoke with Samantha Wheeler, director of communications at L.A. Works, to talk about why volunteering matters and how the organization utilizes its resources to uplift volunteers and the overall mission.
How is your organization recognizing Global Volunteer Month this year?
L.A. Works has volunteers across many different categories and programs, and we intend to highlight them across social media this month. We have reels and posts planned to highlight corporate volunteers, volunteers who are over 55, FAVE volunteer families, climate action/disaster preparedness teams, VISTA members and general volunteers.
What resources or tools are you providing to volunteers to help them get involved in their community?
We utilize our website, social media, tabling events and canvassing to get people involved.
How are you recognizing and thanking volunteers for their contributions during Global Volunteer Month?
We are using a social media campaign to thank all of our volunteers – from corporate volunteers to family volunteers and all in between – for their service.
What role does volunteerism play in your organization’s overall mission and objectives?
Volunteering is the heart of what we do. Our purpose is to make sure that Angelenos work on local needs through hands-on service and feel empowered to address the most critical needs in Los Angeles.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone who’s looking to get more involved in their community through volunteerism?
Volunteering is a great way to follow your passion. We have so many volunteers come to us because there’s a specific area that they care about but maybe they don’t get to explore because of work obligations. Volunteering is an excellent way to engage in something you care about.
It’s also a great way to discover a new interest. We’ve also had volunteers who discovered they had an interest in something new nurtured by a few hours of service in a specific area, not to mention the benefits of volunteering: meeting new people, learning new things, lowering blood pressure to name a few.