Monday, June 20, 2011

Applauding the Volunteers Among Us

This Saturday we feted the men and women who donate time each week to visiting isolated seniors in facilities around San Diego County. They are part of the Guardian Angels program that is funded by the county's Aging and Independence Services agency and coordinated through our George G. Glenner Alzheimer's Family Centers.

In addition to sharing a few snapshots, we also wanted to share some encouraging statistics that Program Coordinator and Event Hostess Nya Moses pulled from the United Way:

• In 2008, 61.8 million Americans (26.4% of the population) contributed 8 billion hours of volunteer service worth an estimated $162 billion, based on $20.25 hourly value on volunteer time.

• Neighborhood engagement levels have risen sharply since 2007, with a 31% increase in the number of people who worked with their neighbors to fix a community problem and a 17 % increase in the number of
people who attended community meetings.

• Between September 2008 and March 2009, more than a third (37%) of nonprofit organizations report increasing the number of volunteers they use, and almost half (48%) foresee increasing their usage of volunteers in the coming year.

• Volunteers were much more likely than non-volunteers to donate to a charitable cause in 2008, with 78.2 percent contributing $25 or more compared to 38.5 percent of non-volunteers.

• About 8.24 million young people ages 16-24 volunteered in 2008, over 441,000 more than in 2007.This increase in young adult volunteers makes up almost half of the overall increase in the number of volunteers nationally.

• Adults who began volunteering as youth are twice as likely to volunteer as those who did not volunteer when they were younger.

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