It's National Volunteer Month and the City of Fort Collins wants to say thank you to all those who sacrifice their time and energy for our community.

Notwithstanding 2020 closures, Fort Collins volunteers have continued to serve in any way possible, and in an interview with "Tuned In to NoCo," Volunteer Program Manager, Susan Schafer, had some pretty impressive statistics to share.

"In the last 2 years, despite the pandemic, our volunteers still donated over 137,000 volunteer hours and that equates to an economic impact of more than $4 million."

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Setting this huge monetary advantage aside, Schafer says there are more benefits to serving our community than people realize.

"There has been a lot of research that shows that volunteering can help your mental health in that it gets you out with other people — It builds community. There are benefits of physical work when your volunteering — social and emotional benefits.  Some research says that volunteering can actually make you live longer because it gives you that sense of purpose like you have something to get up in the morning to do. So, volunteering is good for your community and it's good for you."

Schafer says she is very impressed with the volunteers in Fort Collins and that they truly are the backbone of our community.

"I always say this city truly runs on the power of volunteers...to me, it's just so impressive how many skilled volunteers we have that make our programs really fun, engaging and rich with experience that staff can't always provide."

With all the benefits of volunteering, the City of Fort Collins has many programs for its residents to participate in. Including:

For more information on how you can become a volunteer click here. To listen to the full interview check out the link below.

https://youtu.be/VCQjIHMxn44

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