By Justin Bailey

Each year, December 5th is designated as International Volunteer Day (IVD). Many countries across the globe have their own days set aside each year to encourage volunteerism, but this is one of the few that is recognized on an international scale. 

Mandated by the UN General Assembly, it is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.

Apart from mobilizing thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development by advocating for the recognition of volunteers, and working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming.

IVD 2017’s theme #VolunteersActFirst. Here. Everywhere. recognizes the contributions of volunteers as first responders in times of crisis. Volunteers are present all around us; answering calls in times of need, helping save lives today, and supporting those who want to continue living their lives with dignity tomorrow. Risking their lives every day to care for people affected by conflict, violence and humanitarian crises, volunteers brave many dangers to help others, driven by the desire to make a difference in the face of human suffering. This year, IVD promotes the contributions of such volunteers at the local, national and international level.

Every year, over 6,500 UN Volunteers serve with UN entities in some of the most challenging environments across the world, and 12,000 UN Online Volunteers complete over 20,000 assignments online through the UNV Online Volunteering service.

This year, join Print The Love in supporting everything these volunteers do. Follow this link to the UNV Online Volunteering service website and find out how you can get involved!