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30 August 2007
A time to serve by Richard Stengel
American volunteers posing for TIME's special feature on volunteering (TIME, 2007).
In a changing society facing all manner of new challenges, volunteers are helping bind America together. In a special report, Time Magazine gives reasons why the U.S. and the next President should make a new commitment to national service and volunteering.   Read article
From: Time Magazine, USA
08 August 2007
Not a cloud in the way by Rowan Callick
A woman mops the floor in front of a Beijing Olympics volunteers poster in Beijing August 7, 2007. Preparations for next year's Beijing Olympics are on track, organisers said on Monday, shrugging off concerns about food safety, pollution and accusations it has not lived up to its media freedom pledge. The poster reads, "A volunteer's smile is the best name card for Beijing". REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV (China)
China has decreed that it will not rain on the main stadium during the Beijing Olympics next year. This iron-clad assurance comes from Zhang Qiang, the head of Beijing's Weather Manipulation Office, who says "we will provide a guarantee" the stadium will not be rained on through the use of anti-aircraft guns to seed silver iodide sticks into clouds that dare drift towards the arena, thus causing any rain to fall well short.

The two big issues are combating pollution and creating an open-minded, user-friendly army of 100,000 volunteers capable of meeting the demands of a half-million foreigners in a stranger world than some may have imagined.  Read article
08 August 2007
Baby boomers and the future of volunteering 
A new study by VolunteerMatch looks for keys to unlock the generosity of the Me Generation. It's findings include high expectations, skilled volunteers and the internet playing a huge role in the future of volunteering.   Read article
26 July 2007
New York gives away condoms, offers AIDS education to senior citizens 
New York City condoms (copyright Victoriapeckham,, July 2007)
New York, USA: As volunteers served dessert at a senior center in New York City, other volunteers were distributing something else to the elderly: condoms. The condom giveaway is part of an effort by the New York City Department of Aging to educate older people about the risks they may face of contracting the virus that causes AIDS. Free HIV testing was offered as well.  Read article
From: International Herald Tribune, France
More about: United States  HIV/AIDS
11 July 2007
Bikers with a cause by Maude Fröberg
The ‘Human Wheel’ cortege was the initiative of Lasse Lahnn, a member of the Swedish Red Cross, shown here placing a Red Cross flag on his motorbike. Its aim was to raise awareness of humanitarian values as well as funds for the Red Cross. “Bikers are often portrayed by the media as trouble-makers,” he explains. “The turn-out today shows this is not true.” (Swedish Red Cross, July 2007)
Malmoe, Sweden: A group of Swedish bikers recently launched the "Human Wheel", an initiative to help raise awareness of humanitarian values, volunteerism and fund for the Red Cross. Led by a Red Cross volunteer Lasse Lahnn, the group recently made its way to Trelleborg, south of Sweden  in a 1.5-kilometre motorbike cortage with Swedish Red Cross Secretary General Christer Zettergren.  Read article
28 June 2007
Be part of the climate crisis solutions 
Share your ride. The average commuter burns 340 gallons of gas and creates a 3.4 cloud of CO2 a year. Carpool and out that figure in half. (SOS, June 2007)
To encourage Chinese-speaking people to help save the environment, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in China has translated Climate Crisis Solutions into Mandarin, a practical guide on helping avert environmental crisis at home, on the job, and in local communities.

The guide is part of Live Earth, a monumental music event across seven continent to "trigger a global movement to solve the climate crisis". It encourages people to change their lifestyles and behaviour -- drive smaller cars, recycle newspapers, plant trees, use solar energy among others.

  Read article
13 June 2007
Aid agencies pledge continued efforts despite deaths of volunteers 
Youth volunteers are busy sorting humanitarian assistance in the Lebanese Red Cross centres for distribution to the most vulnerable. (Courtesy: IFRC)
Beirut, Lebanon: Aid agencies pledged to continue efforts to deliver relief and evacuate the injured from the besieged Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon despite an upsurge in fighting and death of two volunteers.

The LRC, the Palestine Red Crescent (PRC) and the ICRC issued a joint statement deploring the deaths of the two medical volunteers and stressing the importance of respecting medical and relief teams working in the field in support of the victims of the current hostilities.

  Read article
From: IRIN News
More about: Lebanon  Peacekeeping
30 May 2007
Dilemma over volunteering or job hunting 
An Olympic volunteer poses beside the 2008 Beijing Olympics volunteer logo. More than 480,000 people applied to become volunteers for the 2008 summer Olympics. (China Daily)
Beijing, China: Most of the Olympic Games volunteers are university students. While they are keen to help out during the international event, they are also concerned about finding a paying job and choose the latter instead. Recent survey shows that majority of the interviewees are worried about employment. They are not only busy with their schoolwork, but also with job-hunting and becoming Olympic volunteers at the same time.  Read article
From: China Daily, China
08 May 2007
I could volunteer a name for pests like this by Carol Sarler
If it looks like a job, quacks like a job, then it is a job. Why give it to unpaid volunteers? Carol Sarler, a former charity trustee, says that one of the lessons she learned is to "resist the entreaties of volunteers in favour of at least minimally paid workers." In this article reposted from the UK daily Times Online, she writes, that "without the mutual discipline of financial contract, you can neither make them (volunteers) do nor stop them (from) doing anything."  What do you think?  Read article
From: Times Online, UK
30 April 2007
Is forced volunteering helping anyone? by Mary Teresa Bitti, CanWest News Service
Some provinces in Canada are engaged in a social experiment -- requiring high school students to put in up to 40 hours volunteering in their communities in order to graduate. But experts are asking: What message are we sending teens if we are equating mandatory community service with volunteering? Volunteer or risk not graduating?  Read article

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