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The Impact of Volunteering

By April 19, 2021No Comments

Life’s most persistent question is, “What are you doing for others?”-Martin Luther King Jr.

Volunteering means giving your time and abilities to aid others without expecting financial compensation. Put simply, volunteering is a service to your community.

Nothing gets done by one person alone and every community needs people who give back. Volunteering your time, skills, and resources is one of the most powerful ways to make a difference, to help others, and to make the changes you want to see come true. Plus, during this pandemic, socially distanced volunteering gets you out of the house!

National Volunteer Week (April 18-24) recognizes the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges, to build stronger communities and be a force that transforms the world.

Founded in 1974, National Volunteer Week has grown exponentially each year, with thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week. Today, people strive to lead lives that reflect their values and this has impacted how people engage with civic life. Doing good comes in many forms, and volunteering today helps to create a more beautiful tomorrow. National Volunteer Week is currently organized by the Points of Light Organization.

Why Volunteer

We all live busy lives and finding time to volunteer can be difficult. However, the benefits of volunteering can be enormous, both personally and to the broader community. Nobody loves a place as much as people who live there. Volunteering offers vital help to worthwhile causes, and the community. 

No work is small, and volunteers are extremely valuable resources for an organization. Non-profit organizations, like Keep Prince William Beautiful and other Keep America Affiliates, rely on a strong volunteer base to help us fulfill our community based missions. Whether it is about financial, mental or physical contribution – everything together matters a lot. We deeply appreciate the time and effort our volunteers put into helping us keep our community clean and beautiful. 

Did you know that volunteering can also help your mental and physical health? Giving back can reduce stress, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. Volunteering does not have to involve a long-term commitment or require a lot of time. Even three hours on a weekend makes a big difference!  What an amazing reason to do something! Volunteering has been shown to give you a sense of accomplishment and to increase feelings of happiness. 

How you may ask? 

Throughout your life you have developed social and professional skills. Using those skills for a wider, communal impact can be quite fulfilling. Volunteering will enrich your life and give you a broader purpose and can give you a boost of motivation. After a year indoors, embrace the lovely spring weather and help us keep Prince William beautiful! 

Community Impact of Volunteering

Volunteering within your community does a lot more than you could imagine. When you volunteer your time and efforts, you start a string of positive events that happen from the time you decide to help out, until long after you have finished. One of the best known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animals, and organizations in need. And volunteering is a two-way street: It can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills.

As a volunteer, you choose to invest your efforts into a community and the people who live in it. You’re providing a valuable service to the community and are giving back through social responsibility.

Every volunteer can make a difference. Don’t underestimate your potential. No matter how small your steps are, you have the potential to make a big difference. Volunteering helps build a more cohesive, safer, stronger community, and increases the social network between communities and neighborhood. Voluntary organizations are key players in the economy as employers and service providers, adding to the economic output of a country and reducing the burden on government spending. What many people do not always understand is that nonprofits only employee a handful of people. Nonprofits rely on the goodwill and volunteerism of others to help provide services to the broader community.

KPWB Volunteers 

Keep Prince William Beautiful (KPWB) relies on volunteers to ensure Prince William County is a premiere community that attracts residents, businesses and tourists; has a strong community engagement and pride; and creates a clean, beautiful, sustainable environment for future generations. Prince William County benefits from the hundreds of KPWB volunteers each year, and our volunteers benefit too!

Volunteers lead community cleanup projects, participate in beautification activities, support booths and games as community events, assist in the office, and much more! Whether you’re an individual, an organization, or a corporate group, we have the perfect volunteer opportunity for you! KPWB has both one-time and ongoing opportunities available year-round.

Every year we appreciate the dedication of both our long term and short term volunteers! Everyone from families, boy scouts, girl scouts, local businesses, and many others donate their time to helping us keep our community litter free and environmentally sustainable. 

KPWB Impact

Keep Prince William Beautiful, Inc. is a non-profit environmental organization that serves Prince William County through partnering with residents, businesses and government to educate and inspire people to be environmental stewards and Keep Prince William Beautiful.

In FY2020, 

-We held 15 outreach and education events (attending PWC school classes, summer camps, workshops, after-school clubs, boy/girl scouts, etc…) with a total of 448 children and adults reached.

-Tabling events (fairs, local events like PWC Recycles Day, etc..): 540 people reached.

-Our 819 volunteers helped us collect 12,970 pounds of litter between our Adopt-A-Spots and Community Cleanup programs.

In FY2021, 

-Our 565 volunteers have helped us collect 9,761 pounds of litter.

Since January 1st we have held 14 cleanups and a total of 1621 pounds of litter collected, by 109 volunteers 

Volunteering with us has an immediate impact on the local community!

How to volunteer with KPWB

We offer programs spanning the issues of litter removal and education, recycling education and water quality improvement. Want to volunteer with us? Great! We look forward to working with you. We have several volunteer programs including Adopt-a-Spot, Beautification, Community Cleanup, Storm Drain Labeling, and more! 

Learn more here on our volunteer page.

We currently have a great clean up opportunity: On April 24th from 10 am – 1pm, Keep Prince William Beautiful and Woodbridge District Supervisor Margaret Franklin will be hosting an Earth Day Community Cleanup! We will be working to tackle the litter problem on Route 1 from Woodbridge to Dumfries. Register here!


Join us on the Litterati app! Litterati is an app that allows you to track litter. This is how it works:

 1) Photograph a piece of litter. Find a discarded coffee cup, crushed soda can, candy wrapper, or any other piece of litter and take a picture.

2) Discard Properly and Tag the Photo. The app automatically geo-tags the image and the  LitterAI tool recommends tags for what kind of litter it is. 

3) Invite or Challenge Others. Want to collaborate with others to help keep your street, neighborhood, school grounds, or city clean? Litterati can help you team up. Join the KPWB team and help us track litter throughout Prince William County.

 4) Use LitterData to Inspire Change. Litterati members all over the world have been able to use LitterData to get companies, organizations, and governments to create positive environmental policy changes.

We are using the Litterati application with our Raise the Bar initiative this summer!  With this campaign, we invite Prince William County residents to “Raise The Bar” on local sustainability measures and take charge of the health and beauty of our shared community.  Sign up if you want to make sure you are among the first to know when we launch this campaign series to get a head-start on some fun competitions. Pre-Register Here!

This year we are hoping to encourage our local community to Raise the Bar and help us create a sustainable future so Prince William County remains beautiful today, tomorrow, and forever. Happy National Volunteer Week!