Today, December 5th, we celebrate the culmination of an online initiative by United Nations Volunteers to mark International Volunteer Day 2011— an initiative intent on showing the world why volunteering matters. Since October, UNV has been accepting photo submissions that document volunteer action from every country across the globe—that’s right, every country. As submissions came in, an interactive map literally lit up with examples of volunteer action and commitment. This morning, today’s main event—and most crucial conversation—began: the UN General Assembly session on volunteerism. With this session will come the first ever State of the World’s Volunteerism Report.

On December 7th a mosaic consisting of photos submitted by volunteers worldwide—including a picture from Amizade in the Navajo Nation!—will be revealed on the United Nations Volunteers’ website. The Navajo Nation is just 1 of Amizade’s 11 partnerships worldwide—and we’re proud of its inclusion in this project. Since our inception in 1994, Amizade has remained focused on empowering individuals and communities equally through worldwide service; 4,500 volunteers later and our commitment and vision are stronger than ever. So while you search for The Navajo Nation in tomorrow’s mosaic, let it be a reminder of why we volunteer, why we urge others to join us, and why this conversation should happen every day—not just on the 5th of December.

Why? Because volunteering matters.