CNCS Recognizes States and Cities with the Most Volunteers – 1 in 4 Adults Volunteered Last Year

Service Is A Powerful Way to Strengthen Communities, and Unite Americans Across Partisan, Religious, and Socioeconomic Divides
Audio: 
Wendy Spencer, CEO, Corporation for National and Community Service

(Washington, DC, Tuesday, November 15, 2016) - Last year, more than 62.6 million Americans, or 1 in 4 adults, volunteered through an organization, giving more than 7.8 billion hours of service, an economic value of more than $184 billion to the country. Volunteering and civic engagement are the cornerstone of a strong nation. Service is a powerful way to strengthen communities, and unite Americans across partisan, religious, and socioeconomic divides.

On November 15, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency in charge of AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, volunteering and service, will release its annual Volunteering in America report, which also includes rankings of the cities and states with the highest volunteer rates. As the nation begins to rebuild after a divisive year and heads into the holiday season, CNCS is calling on more Americans to get involved in their communities—a proven way to bridge divides.  America’s greatness comes from the acts of its citizens; our country is at its best when Americans are civically engaged. 

Service unites. Volunteers are more likely than non-volunteers to talk to neighbors, attend meetings, participate in organizations, discuss politics with family and friends, do or receive favors for or by neighbors, vote, and fix things in the neighborhood.  Volunteers are also nearly twice as likely to donate to charity as non-volunteers.

Volunteering can benefit those serving and those served. A growing body of research has established a strong relationship between volunteering and health, especially for older Americans. Those who volunteer live longer and healthier lives, have lower mortality rates, exhibit greater functional ability, and have lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer. Additional research shows that volunteering can also help those looking for jobs. Volunteers have a 27 percent higher likelihood of finding a job; those odds increase for individuals in rural areas or those without high school diplomas.

America’s volunteers span generations. Generation X leads volunteering among generations at 28.9 percent.  Baby Boomers generated the second highest rate at 25.7 percent, followed by the Silent Generation (born 1951-1945) at 23.5 percent. Volunteering by Millennials increased to 21.9 percent. Baby Boomers and other older adults give the most time, while working mothers continue to have the highest volunteer rate among all groups. 

CNCS urges listeners to volunteer this holiday season and into the New Year. To find local volunteer opportunities, visit serve.gov.

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