Volunteers of America Founders Day

Volunteers of America (VOA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those in need. The organization includes over 16,000 paid, professional employees and more than 60,000 volunteers who dedicate time, money, and other resources to the cause. For more than 124 years, VOA has helped people of all beliefs and are dedicated to supporting America’s most vulnerable groups, including Veterans, at-risk youth, homeless individuals and families, people with disabilities, correctional re-entry services for men and women returning from prison, and those recovering from addiction. VOA is “dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential.”

Each year, Volunteers of America plans a celebration during the anniversary of the organization’s founding, which is March 8th. Founders Week provides an opportunity to reflect upon the work of Maud and Ballington Booth and offer the opportunity to reconnect with their spirit of hands-on community spirit. This time also provides the chance to reintroduce our organization to local communities and clients throughout the nation, and to highlight the work we do through various communications, fundraising and volunteering opportunities.

Who founded Volunteers of America?

Responding to deep social needs, Maud and Ballington Booth founded a new movement on March 8, 1896, at a rally in New York, calling it Volunteers of America. They envisioned a movement dedicated to reaching and uplifting the American people, pledging to “go wherever we are needed, and do whatever comes to hand.” This vision continues to guide VOA today.

Watch this short video on the history of helping those in need:

Volunteers of America programs and services

VOA is one of the nation’s most comprehensive charities offering human services and programs for individuals, families, and communities, including but not limited to:

  • Veterans Services
  • Behavioral Health
  • Assistance with Basic Needs
  • Community Outreach
  • Housing
  • Mental Health
  • People with Disabilities

How is Volunteers of America funded?

Although it served those in need, Volunteers of America intentionally involved the wealthy and powerful in its mission. The Booths were very well connected with the business, political and social elite. Financial support from the likes of John D. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt and John Wanamaker was the main source of funds before the government support of human services began. Today’s Volunteers of America come from all walks of life, just as in the beginning. You will find blue-collar workers, executives, housewives, college students and retirees. You will also see clergy and lay people from all different faiths working side by side, united in the believe that they can be servants making a better world.

We take this opportunity each year to remember our roots, celebrate the volunteers and donors, recognize our ongoing commitment to providing services in communities across the nation to those in need, and to simply say Thank You!