We’ve Got Time to Help
The Corporation for National and Community Service reports that 63.4 million Americans volunteered to help their communities in 2009, 1.6 million more than the year before, and the largest single-year spike since 2003. They contributed 8.1 billion hours of service, with an estimated value of nearly $169 billion.
Part-time employees proved the most generous, with a 34 percent volunteer rate, according to the Portland Tribune’s analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly 29 percent of those with full-time jobs contributed. About 23 percent of unemployed individuals volunteered.
Utah was the top volunteer state, with a rate of more than 44 percent, followed by Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Alaska, all exceeding 37 percent. Large cities were led by Minneapolis-St. Paul; Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake City; Seattle; and Oklahoma City, all with at least a third of their residents taking up a cause.
Mid-size cities, particularly those in the Midwest, have on average higher volunteer rates than large cities, with volunteers also contributing more hours. Mid-size city stars, with a volunteer rate of between 63 and 40 percent include Provo, Utah; Iowa City; Ogden, Utah; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Madison, Wisconsin.