Our View: Sign up to volunteer this month

Published 9:14 am Thursday, April 5, 2018

During President George H.W. Bush’s 1,000 Points of Light campaign, April was designated National Volunteer Month in 1991.

Each April, people across the U.S. are asked to not only show their appreciation for the many volunteers in their community, but to also explore ways they can give back through volunteerism.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 62.6 million people volunteered through an organizations or for an organization at least once from 2014 to 2015, the latest year for which data is available.

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Across all age groups, educational levels, and other major demographic characteristics, women continued to volunteer at a higher rate than men.

By age, 35- to 44-year-olds and 45- to 54-year-olds were the most likely to volunteer (28.9 percent and 28 percent, respectively). Volunteer rates were lowest among 20- to 24-year-olds (18.4 percent). Teenagers (16- to 19-year-olds) continued to have a relatively high volunteer rate, at 26.4 percent.

Married persons volunteered at a higher rate (29.9 percent) in 2015 than those who had never married (19.9 percent) and those with other marital statuses (20.2 percent).

Individuals with higher levels of education were also more likely to volunteer. Among people age 25 and over, 38.8 percent of college graduates with a bachelor’s degree and higher volunteered, compared with 26.5 percent of persons with some college or an associate’s degree, 15.6 percent of high school graduates and 8.1 percent of those with less than a high school diploma.

While some people are more likely to volunteer than others, these statistics show that people of all walks of life can volunteer. Whatever your gender, race, socio-economic status or ability level, there are ways to give back through volunteerism.

Organizations are usually willing to find jobs to suit anyone interested in volunteering.

In Clark County, there are numerous organizations that are always in need of help from volunteers. Whether you’re interested in helping babies, animals, the homeless, the hungry, students or others, a little research will likely uncover some opportunities.

There is Partners in Education, New Beginnings, the Clark County Animal Shelter, the Family Resource and Youth Service centers for Clark County Public Schools, Clark County Community Services, little league athletics teams in need of coaches and umpires, Clark County Homeless Coalition, Beacon of Hope, Leeds Center for the Arts, the Generations Center and more. Many organizations in our community could not function without volunteers, and they are always in need of more.

Make volunteering a family-affair and begin instilling the value of giving back in young children.

Many volunteers will tell you it is a rewarding experience. You don’t have to have a ton of time.

Do you have a special talent or skill that may benefit a charity or organization? Offer your services or ask how you can be of help.

The Sun features a volunteer each week, and would like your help recognizing these individuals who do so much.

If you know a volunteer who you would like to see featured as a “Volunteer of the Week,” email fred.petke@winchestersun.com.