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Volunteerism Up in 2009


In How Can I Help? Ram Dass and Paul Gorman write: "Helping out is not some special skill. It is not the domain of rare individuals. It is not confined to a single part or time of our lives. We simply heed the call of that natural caring impulse within, and follow where it leads us." According to this article by Ann Sanner on The Huffington Post, about 63.4 million Americans ages 16 and older volunteered at least once between September 2008 and September 2009 (from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). That's an increase of 1.6 million from the previous year. The statistics work out that more than one in four Americans volunteer.

In this time of economic uncertainty, people are cutting back on cash donations and giving of their time at soup kitchens or around the neighborhood. The number of volunteers among are only employed part-time increased. It is refreshing to learn that people have heeded their natural caring impulse and reached out to others during times when they could just focus on their private concerns and their own needs.

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