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Are You Ready For National Volunteer Week?

I sure hope so, because it's already half over. Yes, this week is National Volunteer Week, and if you'd like to put in a few hours of volunteering there are still many things you can do.

The National HandsOn Network website will key you into hundreds of volunteer projects happening in your area.

Companies are doing their part, too. Roughly 1,000 Texas Roadhouse employees from 47 states helped to renovate a Florida community center the other day, for example. Raytheon is sponsoring events and featuring employee volunteers on its Twitter feeds. The list of corporate endeavors goes on and on. Good on them.

Other ideas: You, or your company, might make a monetary donation to a volunteer organization, or give its staff members a small token of your appreciation for their hard work year round.

You can also tie your volunteer efforts into Earth Day. It's happening this weekend, and there are volunteer clean-up opportunities planned around the country. Just Google Earth Day along with your city.

Global Youth Service Day is this weekend too, so get the kids a pair of gardening gloves and put them to work. Then you can take them to one of our 397 national parks, where admission will be free this weekend in honor Earth Day. Nice.

If you're in the DC area, Cheap Trick, Kicking Daisies and Dave Mason will play a concert on the National Mall. They say they want to "mobilize the earth" to perform "one billion acts of green." At the very least, you can use it as a good excuse to dump your non-recycling significant other. Sorry, he's just not that into you not buying locally-grown produce.

See? It's not that hard to find something to do on short notice; you just have to make yourself do it. It's better than feeling guilty watching volunteers pick up discarded paper coffee cups along the road while driving six blocks to the coffee shop for your usual Venti-size drink -- in a paper cup, because you forgot your travel mug again. Someday you'll finally remember to bring it.

Of course, it would be much better for the environment and the overall quality of our world if you'd "bring it" in the figurative sense, too. Plan ahead so you don't forget National Volunteer Week 2013, which will happen the week of April 21-27 next year. In fact, the National HandsOn Network lists the National Volunteer Week dates for the NEXT FIVE YEARS on its main page. Now there's no excuse not to mark your calendars, right?


  1. It's better than feeling guilty watching volunteers pick up discarded paper coffee cups along the road while driving six blocks to the coffee shop for your usual Venti-size drink..
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