Volunteering is Declining in America

Dire economic straits always end up affecting things that were never really on anyone’s mind and in ways that are totally unexpected. One of the victims of our country’s most recent economic situation is volunteering. There are less people volunteering less hours and it’s a real issue for those who used to rely on those services to make life a little easier and more bearable. Volunteering has had a long and successful history in the United States of America and is even enshrined in our constitution (the right to form voluntary associations). Throughout history people have always been surprised at the amount of volunteering Americans do and many people have mentioned how it seems to be a defining characteristic of being “American”. Now with these rough economic times, people are no longer volunteering for a number of reasons.

The first and most obvious reason for the drop in volunteering and charity is do to money. The economy has put people in difficult financial situations and so they’re donating less money than before. Seeing as how donations and fundraising make up the majority of charity and volunteering, it makes sense that they would be the most obviously affected. People have less money to give away to those in need and they need that money to help their own families stay clothed and fed. People are also spending more time working and supporting their families. This has lead to a drop in people volunteering for activities such as driving, serving food at kitchens, and tutoring those who need extra help.

While the actual volunteering numbers differ by state (Utah has far more than Arkansas), the overall trend isn’t looking good. We need to find a way to get people interested in volunteering and charity again. Not only are the actual health benefits fantastic, there are people all over the country in desperate need of help and they can’t be left hanging in the wind all alone.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.