Submitted by Anna Ortiz, Global Health & Development Director
I have held many titles throughout my life, but the one that has most significantly impacted me is “volunteer.”
I have been a volunteer for as long as I can remember. Even as young as seven, I would accompany my dad on his volunteer assignments with AmeriCorps. By the time I started High School, I had accumulated enough volunteer hours to fulfill my requirement three times over. After college, I would commit two years to my own volunteer experience with the Peace Corps. I recently had the opportunity to volunteer as part of the Maricopa County Medical Reserve Corps during the first wave of vaccinations for frontline healthcare providers. Volunteer service has been an integral part of my life, and I would not be the person I am today without it.
International Volunteer Day: An Annual Celebration
Celebrated every December 5th, International Volunteer Day offers us an opportunity to celebrate and highlight the value of volunteers and the work they support. One example of this is the United Nations’ recognition of volunteer contributions towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. Many SDGs require long-term changes, and volunteer organizations often serve as the connectors and engagers for marginalized or difficult to reach communities.
Volunteerism is the purest form of giving as people offer their time and innate talents to their favorite cause. At Esperança, every aspect of our work is supported by volunteer efforts. From our Board Members to our student volunteers, all volunteers contribute to our vision of health equity for all.
Over the years, Esperança has developed a robust volunteer program offering opportunities to engage with various aspects of our programs:
- Stove to Table engages volunteers to prepare nutritious, home-cooked meals and deliver them to seniors living in HUD housing.
- Medical Supply Donations are heavily fueled by volunteers who sort, inventory, and help us ship recycled medical supplies to organizations in need.
- Surgical Brigades enlist medical personnel who volunteer their time and skills to travel abroad and provide free surgical care to those who need it most.
These are just some examples of the essential role volunteers play at Esperança.
Thank you for the time, talents, and treasure you’ve contributed over the years from one volunteer to another. Our successes are as much yours as they are ours.
Happy International Volunteer Day!