Volunteerism on the Rise

More Americans are volunteering today than ever:

Those small donations of time are adding up: More Americans than ever before are volunteering. In 2005, 29 percent of adults were serving – a 30-year high, according to a December report by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

It’s partly because volunteerism is uniquely rooted in the American character, some experts say. Barn-raisings and harvest seasons bonded communities long ago. Today, as mentoring, drug rehabilitation, and other programs depend primarily on volunteers, and as religious groups reach far beyond their congregations to address social problems, the trend is poised to engender real change, says David Eisner, chief executive of the CNCS.

“There are no other countries that have the kind of deep-rooted volunteering ethic that we have,” Mr. Eisner says. “If we’re able to engage volunteers in our country to visit these issues … volunteers won’t just turn the tide and make a difference, but we can fundamentally solve some of our most intractable problems.”

Perhaps the best news from this is that this recent upsurge in volunteering is being driven by older teens, baby boomers, and seniors, indicating that volunteerism should remain high for years to come.

Leave a Reply