Daniel Halliday
Nov 29 · Last update 11 days ago.
What are the most important volunteer organisations of history?
Volunteering has become of massive cultural importance with surveys showing that millions of people volunteer their time to a charitable organisation every year. Some of the highest profile volunteer organisations have a history of well over 100 years, for International Volunteer Day let’s take a look back and remember the most important volunteer organisations of history. un.org/en/events/volunteerday
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The Young Men’s Christian Association was started in 1844 in London by George Williams to try and provide low-cost housing and a safe Christian environment for people travelling from the countryside to inner cities around the time of the industrial revolution. In 1855 branches from the UK, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States came together as a federation and formed the World Alliance of YMCAs. Although primarily promoting Christianity and healthy lifestyles to youths and young families, they started to diversifying into rural development in India in the early 20th century, and working with refugees and displaced persons during the Second World War. This voluntary charity work continued to the point where today the YMCA employs approximately 20,000 full time staff and 600,000 volunteers serving 10,000 communities in the United States alone.