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Lots of us volunteered in 2013 in support of causes that are important to us. But not as many volunteered as did 10 years ago.

 

Between September 2012 and September 2013, a little more than 62 million Americans (25% of the population) volunteered in some capacity through an organization, according to data gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and reported by The Washington Examiner.

 

That’s down from 2002, when the rate of volunteerism was nearly 28%. Other findings (some surprising):

 

  • Those with a job volunteered more than the unemployed. In every age group, people who volunteered were more likely to be employed than unemployed.
  • Married people volunteer more than unmarried people. Thirty percent of married individuals did volunteer work in 2013 versus 20% who had never been married before. 
  • Parents volunteer more than non-parents. Roughly 33% of parents with a child under the age of 18 volunteered in 2013, versus 22% of people with no children.
  • The more education you have, the more likely you are to volunteer. Just under 40% of college graduates volunteered, compared to 17% of people with a high school diploma.

 

Religious-based groups or organizations attracted the most volunteers. Youth service programs were next, followed by community-organized associations and clubs.

 

There are many ways to help organizations that do important work – including volunteering your time. Making donations of food and clothing are also important ways to give back.

 

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Do you have plans to support an organization that’s close to your heart this year? Why or why not?