It is during times of great need that we can do the greatest good, and hearing from those who were courageous, took a stand, and affected change can inspire us to do the same. Here are 10 quotes to renew your spirits and inspire you into action.
1. "The greatest danger to our future is apathy." --Jane Goodall
Dr. Jane Goodall, an English anthropologist and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, fell in love with the chimpanzees nearly 60 years ago and has been an environmental activist ever since. You never know where curiosity and compassion will lead you! If you have similar interests to Dr. Goodall, volunteer today to help animals in-person or virtually or protect our environment in-person or virtually.
2. “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” --Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban when riding a school bus at 14 years old. The reason: she was vocal about a girl’s right to an education. Despite a near-death experience, Malala continues to be an activist. If you are inspired by Malala, here are a variety of ways you can be a mentor to girls in-person or virtually.
3. “I call for solidarity among all who love justice, all who love life, to create a revolution that will empower every single human being to govern his or her life, to govern the society and to be fully productive of life quality for self and for all.” --Justin Dart Jr.
Justin Dart Jr. was a leader of the international disability rights movement and a renowned human rights activist. He is best known for his role in passing the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1991. If you would like to volunteer to help people with disabilities, check out these in-person or virtual volunteer opportunities.
4. "I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is." --Greta Thunberg
That’s what Greta Thunberg, a fearless seventeen-year-old climate change activist, boldly stated during her speech at the World Economic Forum. If you are interested in combatting climate change, there are so many ways to volunteer in-person or virtually.
5. “All men are created equal. No matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about.” --Harvey Milk
Harvey Milk was the first openly gay elected official in America and played a key role in the LGBTQIA+ movement. In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling on sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace, you may feel even more motivated to continue with his legacy and support LGBTQIA+-related causes in-person or virtually. Or, if you are inspired by his political activism, the 2020 election is coming up and New Voters needs volunteers.
6. “A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own self-hood, it can never fulfill itself.” --Malcolm X
Malcolm X fought for racial and religious justice as an African-American Muslim during the civil rights movement. 50 years later, we are still fighting for civil rights. If racial justice inspires you, one nonprofit you can volunteer for is Black Connect, an organization dedicated to eliminating the racial wealth gap by building self-sustaining Black communities.
7. "When you put love out in the world it travels, and it can touch people and reach people in ways that we never even expected." --Laverne Cox
Laverne Cox is an accomplished actress, producer, author, and advocate for trans rights. She has met and overcome much hate on her path to success and still encourages us to love. Put love into the world today by being a supportive friend and listening ear for the LGBT Hotline or LGBT Senior Hotline.
8. “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community” --Cesar Chavez
Cesar Chavez was an American labor leader, community organizer, and Latinx American civil rights activist. Chavez emphasizes that success for an individual and success for one's community should occur in tandem. If you're looking for ways to fight for social justice and human rights, check out these ways you can volunteer in-person or virtually.
9. “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” --Mother Teresa
Mother Theresa was a Catholic nun who dedicated her life to the poor, sick, orphaned, homeless and dying. She had immense compassion for those in the most dire need of help. If you feel inspired by her work, you can volunteer in-person or virtually to combat homelessness and hunger.
10. “A small act is worth a million thoughts.” --Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei is a contemporary Chinese artist who sends powerful social criticisms through his photograph, sculptures, and public works. If you are interested in using art as a force for social change, check out Wings of Destiny, a non-profit film company that creates humanitarian and altruistic documentaries.
How Can You Help Us Move Forward?
Beginning in March, we opened up listening posts to help all our cross-sector partners better understand how COVID-19 is affecting volunteering. We've analyzed and collected this data into 2 free eBooks so far, and it's being used by funders, corporations, nonprofits, and volunteers alike to ensure the future of volunteerism in a post-pandemic world. Your voice is invaluable in helping shape vision and build solutions. Please let us know how things are looking for you today. It takes less than 3 minutes.