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4 min read

In 2020, You Sparked Kindness. In 2021, Let’s Create an Even Kinder Future.

December 28, 2020


Almost one year ago, I wrote the first blog post of 2020 to kick off MLK Day and what we were confident would be a powerful year of grassroots service across our VolunteerMatch community. We hoped to inspire others and make it even easier and more accessible to get out into volunteer service in the new year than ever before.

Yet, just one day after I wrote that MLK Day post, we were reminded how truly small our world is as the US confirmed its first case of coronavirus. And less than two months later, across the US and around the world, citizens would be asked, and then ordered, to self-quarantine and stay at home.

Moments Become Movements

Today, as I write this final post of the year, I remember some words that found me back in January that hit more deeply today than I could possibly have imagined then: A life's legacy is made of moments, and… moments are powerful because moments become movements.

2020 forced us all to live in the moment.

It held up the mirror and allowed us to see the power of our individual and collective choices. It demanded much and reminded us what it is to suffer in isolation, to live as a nation and as families, divided. It has not been easy, I don’t think, for anyone, and many have suffered deep losses, the wounds of which remain too fresh. Within this darkness, too, we saw the power of being together, even when distanced. Of being in service to one another, of learning as one people, and of opening our minds and our hearts to honor our uniqueness and what it looks like to become united through kindness.

The Power of Unity through Kindness

For all the suffering 2020 brought about, this power of unity through kindness and community service is what I will remember most. I see it in the organizing in the wake of the killings of our young Black men and women to lift up our voices to declare unequivocally that Black Lives Matter. I see it in the advocacy and voting movements demanding action from both sides of the aisle during a difficult 2020 election cycle. I see it in the First Nation protests at Standing Rock and Mauna Kea where activists encourage a return to values rooted in honoring our land and our families. I see it in the creativity of nonprofit sector leaders who pivot to more virtual and COVID-safe volunteering actions and ensure access for all those who are hungry, in need of shelter, and in need of a compassionate ear to listen or a warm hand to hold. And I see it in constant the demand from our VolunteerMatch community as they ask for even more volunteering opportunities and ways to help — an enthusiasm matched by the national media who aim to bring awareness and visibility to these opportunities and educate the communities they serve in turn.

Thank you for Your Compassion and Service

As we close out 2020 at VolunteerMatch, I’d like to extend our thanks to our strong network of volunteers and partners around the globe. You come from all walks of life, all sides of the political spectrum, from every background and every community in the U.S. You helped shine a light during a difficult time, and together, we have taken those moments and created the beginnings of a new movement towards compassionate action, towards service to one another, towards a kinder future. This year, as we reflect, let’s take a moment to celebrate the fact that in the face of adversity, together, we continued to help, and we achieved real impact:

  • Ending the year with over 16MM volunteers connected to causes they love
  • VolunteerMatch’s 3B pieces of data will be used 50MM times by at least 13MM people
  • 130K nonprofits rely on VolunteerMatch to find volunteers to support their missions
  • 150+ partnerships with best-in-class CSR programs

Creating An Even Kinder Future

Thank you for all you did to be of service in 2020.

So how can you contribute to creating an even kinder future in 2021?

Join us in being a part of activating 100 million volunteers by 2025! Here's how:

  1. Nonprofit organizations are needing more support as we move into 2021. According to our research in October, 81% were saying that there were seeing cancellations, and 65% of nonprofits said they were working with reduced resources as compared to before the pandemic. Here are safer ways to volunteer.
  2. Be a part of the future of volunteering with the Coalition for Volunteer Impact. Join other CSR and nonprofit leaders and volunteers in shaping the future of volunteering.
  3. Drive more impact in 2021 by seeing how emerging trends from 2020 are shaping the future of the impact sector.
  4. Share what you are doing with your friends and colleagues and invite them to come along!
Laura Plato

Written by Laura Plato