Nearly 19,000 volunteers gave over 655,000 hours last year to accelerate our progress in our community’s Agenda for Change.
Nearly 19,000 volunteers gave over 655,000 hours last year to accelerate our progress in our community’s Agenda for Change.


United Way of Dane County is joining the nationwide celebration of National Volunteer Week, April 6-12, spotlighting the vital work done by volunteers in Dane County. National Volunteer Week is about recognizing those who have already taken action and encouraging other individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change–discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to foster positive transformation through volunteerism.

“The progress that United Way and other nonprofit organizations are making in Dane County are made possible because of volunteers—the local heroes who take action to ensure that our community’s needs are met,” says Leslie Ann Howard, President & CEO, United Way of Dane County.  “Nearly 19,000 volunteers gave over 655,000 hours last year to  accelerate our progress in our community’s Agenda for Change. We wouldn’t have the real change in our community without them.”

April is all about volunteers!

April 6-12                     National Volunteer Week
April 25-27                   Dane County’s Global Youth Service Day
April 19                       Red, White & Read
June 23                       Community Volunteer Awards

About National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate people doing extraordinary things through service. Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week focuses national attention on the impact and power of volunteerism as an integral aspect of our civic leadership. The week draws the support and endorsement of the President and congress, governors, mayors and municipal leaders, as well as corporate and community groups across the country.

About Global Youth Service Day

On April 25-27 over 2,500 local youth will be volunteering in a variety of volunteer opportunities across Dane County in connection with Global Youth Service Day.  The theme “One World, One Goal” symbolizes the impact our community’s youth want to make in our community and in our world.  Local youth will be joining young people around the world in celebrating the 26th anniversary of Global Youth Service Day (GYSD). Studies have shown that volunteering in the early years helps instill the value of civic engagement and community involvement as a building block to life-long success.  As the largest service event in the world, GYSD coincides with Earth Day and National Volunteer Week. GYSD is celebrated in more than 100 countries, and recognizes the positive impact that young people have on their communities 365 days a year. Organized by YSA (Youth Service America), a leader in the international youth service movement, Global Youth Service Day offers youth, ages 5 to 25, the resources and support to plan meaningful projects that improve their communities.

Red, White and Read

On April 19, teens, high school and college students will join together to share the importance of early childhood education and literacy at Red, White & Read. United Way of Dane County, UW-Student United Way, and Student Athletes Equally Supporting Others are coming together from 10:00am-1:00pm at the Madison Public Library- Central Branch located at 201 West Mifflin Street to show local kids that reading is fun! Everyone is invited to join Bucky Badger and other UW-Madison Athletes for an engaging day of reading. Additional activities at the library will include opportunities for parents, caregivers, and children to learn through play at Play and Learn, circle time and lots of interactive reading stations. This event is free and open to the public. These youth join millions of other young people around the world who are creating community change as part of Global Youth Service Day, the world’s largest and longest-running service event.

Community Volunteer Awards

Do you know a person, group, business or nonprofit that makes an impact on Dane County through volunteerism? United Way of Dane County is currently accepting nominations for the Community Volunteers Awards. All nominees will be honored for their outstanding work at the awards ceremony on June 23rd at the Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club. Major awards include the Mike McKinney Award, Community Volunteer Awards, and a Business Award. The winner of each will receive $1,000 to be sent to a qualifying nonprofit of their choice. The winners of Distinguished Service Awards will get $250 to send to the qualifying nonprofit of their choice. A new addition to this year’s awards is a Distinguished Nonprofit Service award which will go to an outstanding nonprofit who exemplifies the best in volunteer engagement practices. The winner of each will receive $1,000 to be sent to a qualifying nonprofit of their choice. And the winners of the Distinguished Service Awards will get $250 to send to the qualifying nonprofit of their choice. The contributions for award recipients and the event are generously presented by CUNA Mutual Group and WKOW Channel 27—with emcees Amber Noggle and Greg Jeschke—and sponsored by the Business Volunteer Network, Dean & St. Mary’s, Dane County Administrators of Volunteer Services , Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin and Physicians Plus.

Get Involved

If you want to be involved in the volunteer movement or are looking for a way to give back this week, log onto and click on the VOLUNTEER button.

Looking for Volunteer Recognition Resources?
For resources on how you can recognize volunteers in your organization log onto

About Our Community’s Agenda for Change


  • Students succeed academically and graduate from high school, regardless of race.
  • Children are cared for and have fun as they become prepared for school.


  • There is a decrease in family homelessness.
  • There is a reduction in violence toward individuals and families.


  • People’s health issues are identified and treated early.
  • Seniors and people with disabilities are able to stay in their homes.

 United Way engages our community mobilizes volunteers and strengthens local nonprofits to achieve measurable results and change lives.

About United Way of Dane County

United Way of Dane County is addressing the underlying causes of community issues through our community’s Agenda for Change—seven goals focused on three priority areas of Education, Safety and Health that our community identified as most critical to changing lives and strengthening Dane County. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative work, we are achieving measurable results toward making our community better educated, safer, and healthier. United Way provides organizations and individuals the opportunity to give, advocate, and volunteer to change the human condition in Dane County.