Catholic Volunteer Network (CVN) is excited to join alongside service and nonprofit organizations from across the United States in celebration of National Volunteer Week from April 18 – April 24, 2021. Follow along with us on social media as we honor over 25,000 CVN member program volunteers, recall the rich history of volunteering within Catholic Social Teaching, and celebrate the future of volunteerism centered on justice, equity, and inclusion.
What is National Volunteer Week?
Across the United States, National Volunteer Week is an initiative to publicly and enthusiastically recognize the impact of volunteer service and celebrate the individual and collective power of volunteerism. This important week offers organizations the opportunity to honor the compassionate work of its volunteers as they continue to tackle the world’s greatest needs through short- and long-term domestic and international service. As the past year has posed additional challenges to vulnerable communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, National Volunteer Week holds particular significance in 2021, any many volunteers continued to serve on the front lines within organizations and communities to address crucial needs that may otherwise be unmet.
CVN is excited to take the time this week to showcase gratitude to the thousands of volunteers who embody the mission of our member programs daily.
Catholic Volunteer Network’s History of Service
For nearly 60 years, Catholic Volunteer Network has been inviting lay Catholics and Christians to engage in faith-based service across the globe.
Begun in the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark (New Jersey) in 1963, Catholic Volunteer Network was originally known as the Newark Liaison Foreign and Domestic Lay Apostolate. Fr. George Mader, a priest of the Archdiocese, petitioned then Archbishop Thomas Boland, for permission to begin a “Church Peace Corps” after his sister, Patricia, had served for a year as a volunteer in Farmville, North Carolina with the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart. He wanted to promote such lay volunteer service and to encourage others to support it.
In the years to follow, CVN has grown in its mission (and size), moved to its current home in Washington D.C., undergone a few name changes, and expanded to include over 130 Catholic and Christian volunteer programs (hosting thousands of volunteers each year). Currently, CVN supports programs with volunteers serving in educational and healthcare settings; social services; spiritual formation and religious education; agriculture and farming; racial justice and equity advocacy; immigration reform and refugee support, and much more.
To learn more about CVN’s rich history, click here.
Celebrating National Volunteer Week 2021
Looking to celebrate National Volunteer Week and honor the thousands of volunteers serving through one of CVN’s member programs? Here are some simple, effective ways to show your support and explore if faith-based service is right for you!
- Download and share the 2021 RESPONSE Catalogue: This directory of all of CVN’s member volunteer programs features more than 130 faith-based, long-term service programs with options for everyone. You can download the catalogue right on your device to browse at your leisure and share the link with those in your circle who may be interested in engaging in Christian long-term service. The best part? The catalogue is a free download, so exploring service is accessible to everyone!
Click here to download your free copy of RESPONSE.
- Browse our program directory: Want to dig deeper into learning about specific volunteer programs that you spotted in RESPONSE? Looking to sift through programs that serve specific areas of need that you are passionate about, such as community organizing or childcare? Our program directory is a comprehensive feature that allows you the chance to customize program searches to find the perfect fit for your talents and calls to serve. The directory is available in both English and Spanish and even allows you to sort programs by the length of time you would like to serve, placement locations, living arrangements, and more.
Find the service opportunity right for you by exploring our directory here.
- Make a donation to Catholic Volunteer Network: Throughout 2021, we are continuing to provide resources and support as volunteer programs navigate the ongoing challenges of recruiting and sustaining volunteers amid COVID-19, racial tensions and violence, and more. With your help last year, we were able to launch a series of multisession workshops to support these and other areas of need, as well as other vital tools and resources desired by our member programs. With a gift made in honor of National Volunteer Week, we will be able to continue to respond to the needs of member programs and promote faith-based service for years to come.
Make your donation today by clicking here.
- Engage with us on social media: Throughout National Volunteer Week, CVN will be inviting you to engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to celebrate the incredible work of our member program volunteers, dive into conversation about the impact of faith-based service, and learn more about how service may be right for you. Check out the hashtags #faithandservice, #cvn, #whyservice, and #NationalVolunteerWeek2021, and don’t forget to follow us on our social media channels!
- Check out our “Choose Service” video series: “Choose Service” is a four-part series of short videos of current and former volunteers with CVN faith-based service programs. Within these videos, volunteers talk about their experiences living in intentional community and the communities they serve in, both in domestic and international service. For those looking for a glimpse into the lives of those in service, these videos are a wonderful peek into what a service year may have in store (and how your support of CVN empowers volunteers). out this first in the series of videos and make sure to catch the rest of the playlist here.
We are excited to honor such an important week alongside you and are confident that taking the time to celebrate this moment will continue to propel us in supporting faith-based service all throughout the year!