Utah, again, continues to lead the U.S. in volunteer service

Rowda Bashir, Sudan, works with volunteer Melody Fairbanks, a USU student majoring in Global Communications on some paperwork.

An announcement from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) indicates, again, this year Utah is first among all U.S. states in volunteer service.

Barbara Stewart is the CEO of CNCS and praises Utahns for their volunteerism.

“Utah should be really proud to be number one among states for volunteering, not just this year but for more than 10 years in a row,” Stewart said. “But this year, for the first time, the percentage of volunteers in Utah, the percentage of Utah residents who are volunteering, has broken 50 percent. They’re now at 51 percent volunteers in Utah which is really impressive.”

She talked about what influence the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints might have in Utah’s  commitment to volunteerism.

“Many volunteers work through religious organizations, that’s a very common way for Americans to find opportunities to volunteer. And also people volunteer when they’re asked. It’s the request that really makes a big difference to inspire individuals to volunteer in a wonderful virtuous circle of volunteering.”

Research at CNCS indicates Americans served more than 6.9 billion volunteer hours last year.

“It’s not surprising that Utah continues to have strong numbers because communities where volunteerism is strong perpetuate that philosophy and spirit of volunteerism throughout the year,” said Stewart.

She said this translates into nearly $170 billion worth of volunteer activity in America, which is about the size of the nation’s agricultural industry.

“That’s the value of volunteer hours to organizations throughout the country, many of whom would be unable to operate without the strength and commitment of their volunteers.”

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