11/26/2012 09:43 am ET Updated Jan 26, 2013

Volunteers Change Lives, While Enriching Their Own


One of the enduring traits of the American people is our spirit of volunteerism. We see it every day as people give of their time, energy and compassion to serve communities, participate with countless organizations and help those in need. We saw it on the east coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, in New Orleans after Katrina and in Haiti after the earthquake. We admire the heroes in the headlines who give of their time, save lives and offer support.

At Winrock, we also admire the work and contributions of tens of thousands of volunteers who have traveled to numerous countries around the world to help farms, businesses and communities grow and prosper. At the same time, we know that volunteers' lives have also been enriched by the experience of traveling to foreign lands, learning about new cultures and connecting with people they never thought they would meet. At this time of Thanksgiving, we thank all volunteers, including those who have given their time and energy to support Winrock's mission to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources. Many of their words -- and deeds -- are highlighted in the following slideshow of photos taken from the USAID-funded John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer program. Additionally, we invite you to help improve lives around the world by volunteering or supporting one of our projects.

Volunteers Change Lives, While Enriching Their Own

This blog is part of our #GivingTuesday series, produced by The Huffington Post and the teams at InterAction, 92nd Street Y,United Nations Foundation, and others. Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday -- which takes place for the first time on Tuesday, November 27 -- is a movement intended to open the holiday season on a philanthropic note. Go to to learn more and get involved.