16 June 2010

Surprising Low Volunteer Numbers

Since promoting volunteering is my platform, I was incredibly surprised when I stumbled upon this when researching more on my platform: based on 2009 data, New York is LAST in the percentage of residents that volunteer! LAST! Out of the 50 states and Washington D.C! Only 19% of residents volunteer! When looking at the broken down rankings, NY's young adult volunteer percentage was 14.4% making it 49 out of the 50 states and Washington D.C. NY's college student volunteer percentage was 16.3% making it 43 out of the 45 states included in the ranking. Since Elmira College has a community service requirement, it is almost disheartening to see that so few college students volunteer here in NY. I then looked at the teenage volunteer percentage, it was 17.3%, making it 49 out of the 50 states and Washington D.C. What is good about these rankings is that they show a greater percentage of the younger generations are involved in volunteering. This is exactly what my platform focuses on. I hope that by continuing to visit schools and talk to the students about volunteering opportunites regardless of their age, that they will see how important volunteering truly is to their communities. By finding little projects to do around the community, such as planting flowers to beautify an area, helping a neighbor by raking leaves, volunteering at the food bank, becoming a blood donor, and many more options, the students in our communities can truly make a difference! I would like to see the percentage of volunteers in NY increase in the coming year to get NY out of the last ranking in percentage of residents that volunteer! To see these rankings and to also find volunteering opportunities in your area, visit www.volunteeringinamerica.gov, or click on the widget on the left of this blog. I greatly encourage you to visit this site and to find an opportunity near you to help make a difference in our state and in your community!

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