The Bureau of Labor Statistics report stated that between September of 2008 and '09, 1.5 million more Americans volunteered than did during the same time frame a year earlier. That's a huge increase.
Additionally, 63.4 million citizens (26.8 percent of the U.S. population) volunteered through or for an organization in 2009, an increase from 61.8 million people in '08. These, obviously, are all encouraging numbers.
As our Executive Director Amy Nakamoto wrote in a column last week about the economy's impact on DC SCORES, we've had to make administrative sacrifices in order to maintain the same level of programming at all 23 of our elementary and middle schools. This means that the help of volunteers is needed now more than ever to assist us in completing tasks that fit within our trimmed budget.
And volunteers, here and elsewhere, are answering the call.
President Obama called on Americans to serve during his inaugural address a year ago, and clearly the millions listening took his words to heart. Since that day, according to the report, "support for the (Corporation for National and Community Service) has skyrocketed -- AmeriCorps applications have tripled and a record number of Americans joined together to serve on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and the first-ever 9-11 Day of Service and Remembrance in 2009."
CNCS is in charge of Obama's national service initiative, United We Serve, and oversees Serve.gov, which is an easy way for people to find volunteer opportunities and also post about their service experiences or design and organize their own projects.
And here at DC SCORES, the process is just as simple. Recently, I got a call from a friend asking about helping out. He didn't know much about the organization, but was interested in doing whatever we needed to assist us. Pretty soon, we hope, he'll be a huge asset for us as a spring season chock full of events approaches.
If you want to help out, simply e-mail email@example.com, and we'll let you know how you can become a part of the DC SCORES team.
And, as the statistics below demonstrate, part of a quickly growing team of volunteers who are making America -- from D.C. to Seattle and everywhere in between -- a better place by donating their time to worthy causes that certainly appreciate their assistance.
Additional results from Bureau of Labor Statistics "2009 Volunteering in the United States" report
- "From 2008 to 2009, those employed full time showed a large increase in their volunteer rate -- from 27.8 percent to 28.7 percent."
- "The volunteer rate among unemployed men increased from 17 to 18.2 percent."
- "By age group, 35-44-year olds and 45-54-year olds were the most likely to volunteer. Their volunteer rates were 31.5 percent 30.8 percent, respectively, in 2009."
Check out the full report.