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  • Add a volunteer component to your association’s event

    Adding a volunteer or service component into your association, club, or other group event is a really easy way to promote the work of your group and make a difference at the same time.

    Setting: Anywhere

    Want to try this?

    There may be some people who want to join you.

    Organization/people involved

    World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) Occupational Therapy Global Day of Service.

    What they did

    Ritchard Ledgerd, the World Federation of Occupational Therapists’s programme coordinator for promotion & development, first had the idea to add a service element to World Occupational Therapy Day. Around the same time, fellow occupational therapist Dr. Karen Jacobs had a similar idea on how to pair promotion of the profession and volunteerism.

    Each year, thousands of Occupational Therapists (OT’s) participate around the world. Examples of their activities include:

    How you can do it

    Adding volunteerism into your own work can be easy to execute! Ritchard and Karen have some suggestions on how to get started:


    In 2012, they reached 10,000 members of the occupational therapist community. Over 2,500 volunteers from 24 countries participated in the day of service. Online, they had over 4,000 visits to their site from 101 countries, with videos receiving 3,000 views combined.

    By 2013, they were able to reach over 30,000 people in at least 25 countries. In the social media realm, they have thousands of friends and followers.

    Big takeaways

    Karen’s one big piece of advice is: make it easy! If it’s too complex, that’s a barrier for people that are already so, so busy. She also says to let people have autonomy. Give examples and ideas, then let people be.

    Ritchard says not to overthink strategy. Work on social media, your logo, and other branding, then choose a date and run with it. And promote the event all year!

    If you’re interested in setting up volunteerism within your group’s ongoing work, Karen Jacobs would love to give you advice.


    Photo credit: submitted by participants of OTGDS

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