More than 60 million Americans volunteered 8.1 billion hours of their services in 2010 in work valued at nearly $173 billion, according to a new report. Whether it is tutoring and mentoring students, fundraising, job training or assisting during natural disasters, volunteers have contributed to their communities, the report by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) showed.
“Every day, volunteers of all ages are giving their time and talents to solve problems and make our country stronger,” said Robert Velasco II, acting CEO of CNCS. Minneapolis – St.Paul ranked No. 1 in volunteerism among large U.S. cities, with 37.1 percent of people giving their services. Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Rochester, New York were other urban areas with strong volunteer rates. On the state level, Utah led the way followed by Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota.
People born between 1965-1981, known as Generation X, volunteered more of their time to volunteering than ever before, contributing 2.3 billion hours in 2010 — 110 million hours more than the year before. Velasco said the figures show that civic involvement increases as people become more deeply rooted in their community through family, work and school ties.
Partly thanks to social networking, teen volunteer rates have been significantly higher between 2002 and 2010 than they were in 1989, according to the report called “Volunteering in America.” It attributed high teen volunteer rates to greater emphasis on service-learning in high schools, the influence of parents who volunteer and the ease of finding volunteer opportunities with the Internet. “Technology in the broad sense of social networking has been an asset to volunteerism. I think young people are much more attuned to volunteering at an earlier age than some of us were,” Velasco said in an interview. “They have much more social engagement and networks, and, as a result, they are just much more engaged.”
CNCS recently partnered with the White House to launch a website, serve.gov, where potential volunteers can find opportunities in their areas by entering their interests and zip code.
Source: www. uk.reuters.com