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.


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

Rosealee Maxey

Story of Service: Rosealee Maxey

Rosealee Maxey, Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia Senior Corps – Senior Companion of the Year  - Senior Companions are volunteers age 55 and over who make a difference by providing assistance and friendship to adults who have difficulty with daily living tasks, such as shopping or paying bills.  Rosealee Maxey is always there for the seniors she serves in her Hampton Roads senior apartment complex -- coordinating activities and meals for the residents, providing transportation to doctor’s appointments, taking her clients out for manicures and pedicures, and even traveling to the hospital daily when one of her clients became ill. Read...

Mackenzie Vuotto

Story of Service: Mackenzie Vuotto

In her time as an early educator, Mackenzie Vuotto began to see the pivotal impact that service and volunteerism can have on young people and families. "An important part of educating young children is informing them about who is in their community, and how their 'community heroes' (like firefighters, doctors, or mail deliverers) help them every day," says Mackenzie. "I realized it was also important to educate children, from a young age, about ways they can help others so we had multiple food and supplies drives in my preschool classroom throughout the year!" Mackenzie is now serving as an AmeriCorps...

Walter Camp

Story of Service: Walter Camp

Descriptions like “tireless” and “dedicated” are often applied to volunteer efforts, but Walter Camp’s commitment to service gives these expressions a new level of meaning. Those who work alongside Walter know that when he serves a cause, he doesn’t just talk about it. He is known for putting in the hard work to make things happen no matter the task at hand. As Secretary of the Virginia Beach Clean Community Commission, he went above and beyond his normal role to join other volunteers in the 2021 Great American Cleanup, helping scoop debris from the Virginia Beach shorelines in his kayak...
RICKETTSFRAN10131--C-CAP Director Fran Ricketts 10/24/2013 MATT ARMSTRONG PHOTO

Andrew Richards

Story of Service: Andrew Richards

Andrew Richards, Virginia Service and Conservation Corps National Service Alum of the Year Andrew Richards served from 2017-18 as a Resource Crew Leader with the Virginia Service and Conservation Corps AmeriCorps program at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion. He and his team served by battling invasive species conducting prescribed burns, applying herbicides/pesticides, and maintaining trails. Andrew also participated in various restoration projects throughout the region, including helping to restore native species habitat and completing a new trail for the Virginia State Parks system. He led his crew by adopting modern technology and introducing new methods of data tracking and...

Amber Matkowski

Story of Service: Amber Matkowski

My experience with AmeriCorps was truly life changing. I completed two years of service, during my junior and senior year at Christopher Newport University. Alternatives Inc. is such a warm and friendly organization to work with. They made it a priority to train us not only to be thorough workers, but to be passionate advocates, exceptional leaders, and supportive team members. They showed me the importance of knowing your program and your team inside and now. By the end of my AmeriCorps service, I felt like I could quickly and efficiently solve problems and take on big challenges. I am...

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.