Governor Evers Signed Commendation

Volunteers of America Minnesota and Wisconsin Celebrates 125 Years of Service

March 8, 2021

For 125 years, Volunteers of America (VOA) has provided high-quality social services to millions across the United States. As VOA celebrates its rich 125-year history of empowering those in need, March 8, 2021 will be observed in the state of Wisconsin as Volunteers of America Day.

Dating as far back as the aftermath of the American Civil War, VOA has empowered and advocated for those struggling every day to obtain basic necessities and a life with dignity. Volunteers of America Minnesota and Wisconsin is part of VOA network of 30 Affiliate chapters serving 1.5 million individuals in over 400 communities each year nationwide.

For 125 years, Volunteers of America Minnesota and Wisconsin has closed the gap between people and possibility by providing health and human services to over 25,000 people a year in 110 neighborhoods and communities across the two states. VOA MN/WI works to make sure people have the foundations of well-being: stable homes; healthy food; social relationships; opportunities for growth; and places for people with disabilities and mental health challenges to get the support they need.

Nationally, VOA serves more than 27,000 veterans annually who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. The organization also owns and manages more than 500 affordable housing properties in 40 states plus Puerto Rico, which provide homes to more than 25,000 people each year. Additionally, VOA is recognized as a national leader in senior care. From skilled nursing care and assisted living to a continuum of housing tailored to their needs, we provide a safe, welcoming environment for approximately 8,000 seniors who need it most.

“People often ask about our name – Volunteers of America,” VOA MN/WI President and CEO Julie Manworren reflects. “When we were founded 125 years ago, the word volunteer had a slightly different meaning. It signified that the organization was comprised of people voluntarily choosing to help others. In those days, a volunteer was anyone who was committed to a mission or a cause. As a long-historied organization, we are more than a nonprofit. We are a ministry of service, welcoming people of all faith background, and we seek to serve the needs of the whole person (mind, body, and spirit).”