Volunteer Recognition Day, which is celebrated on April 20, honors volunteers who dedicate themselves to causes and helping others. Every day, they make large and small differences in the lives of millions of people all over the world, often saving lives, improving lives and providing comfort. They do all of this, generally without asking for recognition.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been seeing great acts of volunteerism in action. These volunteers are doctors, nurses, hospital staff members, first responders, pharmacy staff, police, firefighters, EMTs, delivery drivers, restaurant workers, truck drivers, grocery employees and more. They are also the people who are staying home, those who are making masks, and shields, sharing resources, collecting money, and donating essential items and goods to support those on the frontlines.

It is truly heartening to see the goodwill that people are providing. Therefore, while it certainly makes sense to honor all volunteers on the 20th, this year, we should especially make sure to honor the COVID-19 volunteers.

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There are many ways you and your children can thank volunteers including creating and sending thank you cards, raising funds to buy and donate goods and essential items, participating in volunteer efforts already established and supporting causes you believe in.

If you are looking for some fun things to do while you and your family social distance at home, please enjoy these facts and activities, courtesy of The Goddard School in West Orange’s, “Things to Do with Kids,” column.

Below are a few suggestions.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

The next time you sit down for a family dinner, toss out some of these facts to spark a lively and informative family conversation. After dinner, look up some of these dates and facts and explore the historical moments as a family.

  • On April 18, 1775 – Paul Revere made his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Ma., shouting "the Red Coats are coming" as the American Revolutionary War began.
  • On April 18, 1923 – The first baseball game was played at Yankee Stadium in New York City
  • On April 18, 1956 – Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco.
  • On April 19, 1897 – The world’s oldest annual marathon run in Boston, Massachusetts, raced for the first time.
  • On April 19, 1775 – British troops fired "the shot heard 'round the world" beginning the Revolutionary War.
  • On April 22, 1889 – The Oklahoma Land Rush began.
  • On April 22, 1970 – Earth Day was observed for the first time.
  • On April 23, 1932 – The New Royal Shakespeare Theatre opened in Stratford-upon-Avon.
  • On April 23, 1968 – Decimal coins were introduced in the UK.
  • On April 23, 1985 – The Coca-Cola Company announced that it changed its formula for Coke, to New Coke.
  • On April 24, 1990 – Space Shuttle Discovery launched the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit.