Slow economic times boost volunteerism

Has America’s civic spirit been revived?  Nearly 27 percent of the U.S. population volunteered to help last year with a total of 63.4 million.  An increase of approximately 1.6 million volunteers from last year – the biggest jump in the past six years according to a Volunteering in America recent study.

The report found that 63.4 million Americans volunteered, giving more than 8.1 billion hours of volunteer service worth an estimated $169 billion!

However unfortunate the slow economic times have been, it’s good to see that layoffs and foreclosures initiated people to give with their time and talent.  Despite the downturn, it’s something to feel good about.  Don’t you think?  Americans stepped it up.

At the same time, charitable giving dropped nearly 4 percent last year, to about $304 billion, according to a study by Giving USA Foundation and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

It makes sense that volunteering would increase during hard financial times. Especially with Obama’s call to service and websites like Serve.org that make participating and serving your communities a breeze.  It proves that the presidential and first lady’s emphasis on service certainly does impact citizens.  In addition, tons of advice on how to handle your layoff focused on volunteering with your newfound spare time.  Either because it’s important to still contribute to society or for opportunities like building up skills and contacts while you look for work.  National databases, including the one used at YourCause is great for finding volunteer opportunities by either zip code or keyword.

United we serve! Find volunteer opportunities and track hours on your very own service goal tracker, courtesy of YourCause.com!

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-Lizette Romero

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