Will the volunteers come back?

Will the volunteers come back?

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When the pandemic hit, nonprofits found themselves scrambling to serve a nation in crisis. “The strain on nonprofits the last couple of years is unimaginable,” says Rick Cohen, chief operating officer at the National Council of Nonprofits. Some have told his organization, the largest such network in North America, that they’ve eliminated waiting lists — not because they caught up, but rather because lists create false hope that help is coming. “We have seen many fewer volunteers over the past couple of years.”

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Cohen says the pandemic brought out the best in people, including some who ramped up efforts despite risks to their own health. And many have volunteered to help others outside of the more formal nonprofit structure, “just pitching in around their community.”

The pent-up desire to come together gives him hope that volunteering “will come roaring back.” The rise of mutual aid groups speaks to that, Cohen says. Their informal volunteers won’t make official counts, but they do make a huge difference in people’s lives.

Source Name: 
Deseret News

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