Volunteer Spirit Strikes Nearly 3 in 10

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Nearly 30 percent of Americans volunteer in social programs. The number went up again last year, and has been on the rise since the Sept. 11 attacks. Utah, Nebraska and Minnesota lead the way in terms of volunteerism. Women who have children volunteer more than anyone.


A new study about volunteerism in America shows that we are becoming more generous with our free time. Last year, 30 percent of Americans volunteered for some kind of public service. That number has been on the rise since the September 11th attacks. The number comes from a federal agency, called the Corporation for National and Community Service. It ranked volunteerism by age, sex, family responsibilities, and region; to calculate who is the most generous.

Mr. DAVID EISNER (CEO, Corporation for National and Community Service): In Utah, we saw standout performance. Not only do more people in Utah volunteer, but on an average, they volunteer about a third more time.

WERTHEIMER: David Eisner is CEO of the corporation. People in Nebraska and Minnesota volunteer a lot. People in New York and Florida volunteer less.

Mr. EISNER: Across the country, women volunteer more than men. But not just that, women with jobs and women with children, volunteer more than anybody. Which just shows, that if you want to get something done, give it to someone who's busy.

WERTHEIMER: David Eisner is also tracking the value of volunteering. He says all the volunteers in the U.S. donate an equivalent of $150 billion in services each year.

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