Volunteering: How Do Your City and State Compare to the Twin Cities and Utah?

Did you know that during the last few years over one-quarter of the U.S. population volunteered? Or that last year alone, 60.8 million volunteers gave 8.1 billion hours of service?

Yesterday, the Corporation for National and Community Service (who bring you such national service programs as AmeriCorps and Senior Corps) released their annual report on volunteering in America. Some of the more interesting tidbits? According to their data, volunteers in the U.S. watch significantly less television than non-volunteers. Also, more than 3.7 million volunteers in the U.S. traveled more than 120 miles from their home to serve (especially in the Gulf Coast region affected by 2005’s Hurricane Katrina) while 1.1 million volunteered abroad with an organization outside the U.S.

Along with the release of new stats for the country, the Corporation also launched a new interactive website where citizens across the United States can learn more about how their community volunteers. For example, at www.VolunteeringInAmerica.gov, you can check out the rankings to see which states and large and mid-sized cities have the highest volunteering rates (this year’s trophies go to Utah, Minneapolis-St Paul, and Provo, UT, respectively). You can also read up on trends, stats, and highlights for your region, state, or any one of 162 communities. Finally, if you happen to work as a leader or manager of volunteers, you can also check out their collection of tools and effective practices.

Wanna learn more? Head over to www.VolunteeringInAmerica.gov and start clicking. Oh, and if you’re from Utah, Minneapolis-St Paul, or Provo, feel free to gloat shamelessly. At least until next year…

[This blog entry appeared on an older version of Idealist; any broken links are a result of having re-launched our site in Fall 2010.]

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