26.5% of Americans do this…do you?

Earlier this week, the Corporation for National and Community Service released the annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America study. As a nation, about one out of four individuals volunteer. It should be celebrated that we have a culture of service in our country.

Click image to view.

Click image to view.

The study highlights several different areas of volunteering and offers great insight and statistics related to America’s giving. Points of interest include:

  • With nearly 40% of working moms volunteering, they represent the demographic group of active volunteers. One of our mentors wrote this on our Facebook page that sums up a typical working mom. “I have a full time job, a part time job, a 2yr old, husband, I volunteer, and I run. When it is important enough; time finds itself. The meaningful difference you are making in a child’s life is a powerful and fulfilling difference in your own. Simply incredible.”
  • South Dakota ranks seventh out of the fifty states in terms of percent of residents that volunteer. A little over 35% of South Dakotans volunteered in 2012. An overwhelming majority South Dakotans volunteered at their church or other religious setting.
  • Utah had the highest percentage of volunteers, followed by Idaho. Outside of those two states, the top ten are all in the Midwest.
  • Almost 80% of volunteers donate to charity. In South Dakota, 55% of residents also indicated that they donated to charity.
  • Teens are volunteered more than ever in 2012. At LSS, USucceed is helping teens get engaged in giving back to their community.
  • Click on the graphic on the right to see several breakdowns of volunteering in America.

While having over one-third of South Dakotans volunteer is amazing, it still begs the question of where are the other two-thirds of people? Mentoring is a fun and easy way to give back. It is one hour per week throughout the school year. If you are not already volunteering, please consider applying to our program. If mentoring is not quite right for you, there are plenty of other ways you can give your time to LSS programs.

Volunteering and service are important for personal and community development. And as stated in the quote above, when it is important enough, time finds itself. Make a resolution to give back in 2014.

Post by Michelle Madsen


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