More than one in three Idahoans volunteered their time to improve their communities and help those who need assistance, ranking the state third in the nation in volunteerism.
The latest research by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship found that 36.5 percent of Idahoans – more than 425,000 – volunteered over 58 million hours of service in 2012. Only Utah and Minnesota had higher rates of volunteerism. The rate is based on a three-year moving average.
“Volunteers are raising funds; collecting, preparing, distributing and serving food; providing transportation; tutoring or teaching and offering general support to organizations,” Wendy Spencer, chief executive of the Corporation for National and Community Service, told Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter in advising him of the state’s achievement. “While organizations across the country struggle to provide more services with fewer resources, volunteers help fill the gap.”
While Idaho’s volunteer rate was unchanged from 2011, the state moved ahead of Iowa and South Dakota in the national rankings. Idaho’s rate was up nearly two and a half percentage points from 2010, when the state ranked 10th nationally.
In addition to the tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the state, there were more than 350 AmeriCorps members and 3,800 Senior Corps volunteers meeting local needs, strengthening communities and increasing civic engagement through national service, which is coordinated by Serve Idaho. The Corporation for National and Community Service is committing more than $6.7 million to support Idaho communities through national service this year.