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The United States has always had a culture of volunteerism. Like our country, wfla members have been doing community service since the company’s beginning in 1897. Last year, our members served over 140,000 hours of community service! Here are some interesting facts about volunteerism from The Corporation for National and Community Service in a research article (2011). These three results may surprise you…

1. Volunteering is at an all-time high
Over the last 30 years, volunteering has been steadily increasing, particularly in three age groups. “The growth in volunteering has been driven primarily by three age groups: older teenagers (ages 16 to 19); mid-life adults (ages 45 to 64); and older adults (65 years old and over).”CNCS (2011).

2. Different types of volunteerism
While volunteering for religious organizations is down, volunteering in youth or educational organizations are much higher than 30 years ago. This suggests that priorities are different for young members but that “rate of volunteering among young people has doubled since 1989 suggests a major shift in the perception of volunteering among America’s youth.” CNCS (2011).

3. Health benefits to older volunteers
Studies are showing effects beyond volunteer’s emotional benefits such as pride, compassion, caring, and empathy. There is evidence to suggest that volunteering may increase the mental and physical health of older individuals says the CNCS (2011).

There is more to wfla than life insurance. We provide a common bond that holds families, friends, and communities together… volunteerism.

Now, tell us what you think. Are you surprised by the ages of people who volunteer? Are you a volunteer?

To read more about volunteer research: http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/06_1203_volunteer_growth.pdf