National Volunteer Week April 21-27, 2013 Americans have historically supported their neighbors and townspeople in times of crisis. It's especially true when the crisis involves the massive destruction that comes with tornadoes, epic flooding and hurricanes. This was made evident when Hurricane Sandy struck near Atlantic City, N.J., in October of 2012. Sandy will end up causing about $50 billion in property damage and lost business, making it one of the costliest natural disasters on record in the United States. The storm affected people in 15 states. Caring Americans nationwide showed how ordinary people can do extraordinary things through service. They volunteered their time and money to work with individuals and organizations. People helping people. It's the American way. National Volunteer Week focuses attention on the power of volunteerism. Every leader, from the president, governors and mayors, to corporate and community leaders, works with citizens to observe the meaning of this week. This year's theme is: Celebrating People in Action. It honors individuals who help to solve significant problems. Volunteering can bring new meaning to our lives. We can work with the Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, the Salvation Army or our churches. We can join a local chapter of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps, or find a way to teach English or some other subject to immigrants, work with teens or at an animal shelter, or entertain the elderly in a nursing a home. This year, choose to volunteer in some way, even if it's only for an hour.