Volunteering Makes Us Strong Together
Published: April 18, 2023
Almost a quarter of Americans, or more than 62 million adults, formally volunteer with organizations.1
People volunteer for many reasons. It can be rewarding, empowering, and connect you with like-minded people who share your passion and sense of purpose.
At the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, our volunteers are connected by the shared experience of living with or caring for someone who has inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In our recent volunteer survey, we heard more about why they volunteer:
My involvement feels very fulfilling and has connected me to the community of caregivers like me.
I love being able to help out and be a support to the people who dedicate their work lives to helping out my son and all patients that suffer.
Volunteering to help others, via support group facilitating, advocacy, and fundraising, has helped me feel like I have more control over my own illness. And I was brought up to believe that you must give some of your talents, whatever they are, to help your community.
While our volunteers may have a shared interest in helping the IBD community, they bring a wide range of skill sets and availability to devote to volunteering. As a result, our volunteer opportunities span the scope of activities, skills, and time commitments.
For instance, each summer medical professionals and a host of other adults join us at Camp Oasis, our sleepaway camp for kids with IBD, to help kids have a safe, fun camp experience.
Our support groups held across the country are led by committed volunteers who help guide people through their IBD journey.
Our advocacy volunteers lend their voice in a wide range of ways. Some visit their elected officials and others will click on an action form and send a message to their lawmakers. Together, their impact is enormous as evidenced by these recent wins:
The Foundation secured $1.5 million from Congress for IBD research and prevention programs.
We passed a law in Pennsylvania to help IBD patients overcome insurance company hurdles to get immediate coverage for doctor-recommended treatments.
We passed bills in two states that increase patient access to a breakthrough diagnostic test that can pinpoint the specific treatment that would be best for managing your disease.
During National Volunteer Week (April 16-22), we celebrate our volunteers who lend their time, talent, and voice to support the IBD community.
We also remind people who have considered volunteering but may not think they have the right skills or time to offer that there is a place for you. No matter what your role, you contribute to our collective impact.
We are grateful every day to our dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to help raise awareness of IBD and advance our mission. We invite you to join us – in whatever way you can – in being strong together.
1 2021 AmeriCorps survey (Volunteering and Civic Life in America) in collaboration with the U.S. Census Bureau.