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The big, beautiful value of our volunteers – and volunteering

Volunteering makes the nonprofit world go around. Its value and impact may be measured in dollars, creative activities – and lives changed.

Mint Artists Guild relies on volunteers to allow our small but mighty nonprofit grow many many opportunities for creative youth and children.

During National Volunteer Week, we sing the praise of our volunteers. Two volunteers helped us create and maintain this website.  Many Mint volunteers drove thousands of creative activity kits across I-94 – from partner Arts & Scraps to partner Brilliant Detroit so Detroit children could play creatively during the pandemic.  Educator and poet Will Langford helped us launch the Metro Detroit Youth Arts Competition last year as a volunteer and is returning to help this year. Board member and marketing lead Kelly O’Neill created many Mint videos, including those about our volunteering to create two huge street murals. Her videos share our story on our YouTube channel and far beyond it.

Our newest video, created by Mint marketing intern Erin Theroux, highlights a few of the many volunteers who have supported Mint during the pandemic.  Volunteers from New York to San Diego and many places in between gave their time and talents to Mint Artists Guild:

Virtual volunteering grew during the pandemic as people sought ways to give back safely. Yet Mint has worked with volunteers from several states for at least three years, leveraging talents and connecting with creatives in Boston and beyond.

Volunteering in the United States contributed an estimated $167 billion in 2017, based on 77 million Americans giving their time to a good cause. That figure is more than the combined revenue of General Motors and Rocket Cos., parent of Quicken Loans.

Many nonprofits are run entirely by volunteers; Mint operated that way for more than two years; since then Mint has a paid executive director who still volunteers at least 12 hours a week of her time.

Volunteer time is valuable to nonprofits – and the communities and individuals helped. Volunteer time was worth $27.20 an hour last year, according to Independent Sector.  And volunteering can be helpful for the people volunteering: It is linked to longer life, more optimism and so much more.  And when a volunteer takes time to help a child paint or create something, she may open the door to a lifetime of beauty and art.

“At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished… it’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back,” actor Denzel Washington once said.

If you’d like to give back through Mint, please read about our current volunteer needs on VolunteerMatch or Share Detroit or elsewhere and raise your hand today.