Learn about the
Impact of Volunteerism
& Service

From the daily ways we help our friends and neighbors, to the time and talent we devote to community organizations, to how we use our voices to spread awareness and call attention to the causes we care about, every act makes a difference.

Virginia Community Engagement Index

In 2023, Serve Virginia and the Virginia Service Foundation launched a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind study to understand the state of service, volunteerism and civic action in Virginia, as well as identify community priorities on the state and local levels. Here’s what we found:

how we serve

Every Act Matters

67% of Virginians said they’ve volunteered for an organization in the past year. But if you think that’s all service is, then think again. Every day, we use our talent, treasure and voices to improve the lives of those around us and to support organizations and causes we care about. In fact:

  • 7 out of 10 Virginians said they’ve informally helped out a neighbor in the past year — and 55% said they do so more than once a month.
  • 51% said they’ve donated money or possessions to a non-political community organization.
  • 42% said they’ve started or stopped buying products or services based on the values and practices of companies.

This material is based upon work supported by AmeriCorps under Grant No 22CABVA001. Opinions or points of view expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of, or a position that is endorsed by, AmeriCorps.

Stories of Service

Virginians are making a real difference in their communities by volunteering their time and talents. Every day, we hear remarkable stories about how our volunteers have helped those around them. Know someone who is always helping others? We’d love to hear their story.


Rachel Haines

Story of Service: Rachel Haines

RICKETTSFRAN10131--C-CAP Director Fran Ricketts 10/24/2013 MATT ARMSTRONG PHOTO

Denise Bland

Story of Service: Denise Bland

The Virginia Community Healthcare Association recently named Denise Bland Volunteer of the Year for her work with the Eastern Shore Rural Health System, Inc. Denise's efforts helped to expand primary care to eight locations offering a wide range of services including primary medical care, dental care, behavioral health services, pharmacy assistance services, pediatrics, and a robust school dental program.   She has served Eastern Shore Rural Health as board president for 17 years through June 25, 2019. When Eastern Shore Rural Health first began in 1976, the organization’s focus was to make primary care more accessible to people living on...


Story of Service: SunTrust

Congratulations to SunTrust of Richmond -- winner of the 2017 Virginia Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Corporation! Among SunTrust's corporate commitments is "employee volunteerism that helps to build and strengthen communities." This commitment and culture of caring is evident among Richmond-based SunTrust employees where more than 800 SunTrust teammates have volunteered for a host of organizations contributing nearly 38,000 hours of service! Volunteers focus on three key areas: financial education, support for the military and veterans, and continuing to help Virginia communities and residents recover from the 2008-2010 financial crisis. Nearly 3,000 volunteer hours were spent delivering...

Lawrence Jia

Story of Service: Lawrence Jia

Congratulations to Lawrence Jia of Midlothian -- winner of the 2017 Virginia Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Youth Volunteer! When Lawrence Jia saw someone close to him experience a financial crisis and face homelessness, he was moved to make a difference. He had an idea that if you could create a resource to help individuals become better informed consumers, better investors, and wiser savers -- you could change the landscape of adolescent financial literacy. In Lawrence’s freshman year, he created “Money Matters to Students” which today has almost 100 volunteers across three continents and has reached over...


Story of Service: OrthoVirginia

Commitment to community has been embedded as a core value for OrthoVirginia, even before its formal founding as a practice. At any given time, over a third of the physicians at OrthoVirginia volunteer as athletic trainers and team physicians, primarily in the Northern Virginia region. As a result of their priority to support the local sports leagues and school systems, they serve as team physicians to 18 public high schools as well as a number of private schools, taking time to answer questions, provide guidance and help in the care of the students. In addition to providing a crucial service...
RICKETTSFRAN10131--C-CAP Director Fran Ricketts 10/24/2013 MATT ARMSTRONG PHOTO

Dr. Lawrence Fleenor, Jr.

Story of Service: Dr. Lawrence Fleenor, Jr.

Congratulations to Dr. Lawrence Fleenor of Big Stone Gap - winner of the 2019 Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Senior Volunteer!  Dr. Fleenor has taken his love for and dedication to the history of Southwest Virginia and turned it into a remarkable way to serve his community. A tireless advocate and volunteer for the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park, he has volunteered more than 5,550 hours. Additionally, Dr. Fleenor volunteers as historian at Natural Tunnel State Park and the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association. He led the work to create the Southwest Virginia Museum's historical bus...

Award Nominations

Our awards celebrate the passion, commitment, and impact of those who go above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of others. By nominating a deserving candidate, you acknowledge their outstanding contributions and help to inspire others to follow in their footsteps.  Submit your nomination today and help us shine a light on the inspiring stories of service that unite and strengthen our Commonwealth.

Roadmap for the Future

In 2022, Serve Virginia launched a sweeping new three-year vision for the service and volunteerism ecosystem in Virginia centered around building a stronger culture of service, volunteerism and civic engagement, building a more representative and aligned network of partners and building a more robust infrastructure of resources for our partners. Our Virginia Community Engagement Index, which was guided by nearly 40 partner organizations, advances all three strategies at once. 

What’s Your Volunteer Personality?

Pair your passion with purpose. Take our Volunteer Personality Quiz and find out which volunteer direction is best for you.