Here in Dodge County, we’re focused on making our community a better place.

That’s part of the mission for United Way of Dodge County, but it’s part of the DNA of this community, too. That’s why United Way celebrates the contributions of volunteers. Whether you’re spending an hour a week reading to young children to boost their pre-reading skills, contributing to the latest food drive, or taking part in volunteer activities through your place of work or worship – you’re making our community a better place to live.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a great example. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota provides Dodge County youth with one-to-one mentoring relationships that help them succeed in life by igniting, empowering, and defending their potential. Every year, over 100 mentors volunteer to be matched with a Dodge County youth! It’s this kind of community involvement that’s helping to improve education, financial stability, and health in our community.

Research tells us that volunteerism isn’t just good for our community, it’s good for us, too. Volunteering as a family provides opportunities to connect and talk in new ways, as parents and kids learn to see each other outside of their typical roles. Volunteering helps children learn about responsibility to others and having a stake in their community. Working as a family team reinforces the importance of doing your part to achieve a greater goal. And volunteering stimulates empathy, as kids come to see and experience the needs of others firsthand.

When we volunteer, we benefit as much as we benefit others. It’s a fact that people who volunteer experience a boost in their mental health. We feel good – mentally and physically – and odds are we’ll enjoy our fellow volunteers, who have chosen to serve for the same reasons. And it’s good for business, too. According to America’s Charities, 88% of employers believe effective employee engagement programs help attract and retain employees. And 71% of employees say it’s imperative or very important to work where the culture is supportive of giving and volunteering.

Want to get involved in making Dodge County a better place? Contact United Way of Dodge County at to start today.