A study ranks Nebraska number-two in the nation for volunteering. Bob Grimm, research director for the Corporation for National and Community Service, says about 39% of all Nebraskans volunteered their time at least once last year — that’s about 528,000 Nebraskans.
“They are regular volunteers,” Grimm says. “What I mean by that is that, more and more people in Nebraska volunteer year after year. Some places, you basically see half the people who volunteer one year don’t volunteer the next year at all but in places like Nebraska and Iowa, you’re seeing 70, 80% of the people who volunteer every year.”
He says it’s simply a part of the lifestyle. In all, Nebraskans last year donated nearly 67-million hours of their time, which works out to more than 49-hours for every Nebraskan. That’s $1.4 billion dollars in services donated.
Volunteering, Grimm says, has two-way benefits. “There’s been a growing amount of research that suggests, just like regular exercise, regular volunteering produces health benefits,” Grimm says. Studies find that people who regularly volunteer have lower depression rates, recover more quickly from illnesses and may even live longer. Grimm says Nebraskans “get it” when it comes to the values of volunteering.
“People gain new skills when they volunteer, they expand their social networks, they help with all kinds of potential career opportunities…it helps them with a new job,” Grimm says. “Volunteering can produce all kinds of important benefits for the community and for the individual who serves.” Nebraska ranked number-two on the study behind only Utah. The rest of the top five are: Minnesota, Alaska and Iowa.
To learn more, visit the website: www.volunteeringinamerica.org.