Nebraska is again ranked in the top ten states for volunteerism in a report from the government agency that oversees AmeriCorps and Senior Corps.
Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, says more than 466,000 Nebraskans donated their time last year, far more than the national average.
“Nebraska is #6 in our top 10 states across the nation in volunteering rates,” Spencer says. “They are up one from #7 last year, so there’s a nice trend.”
The Volunteering in America report says one in three Nebraskans volunteered last year for a combined 58-million hours and an economic value of $1.3 billion dollars. While that’s an astounding benefit for the Husker State’s communities, Spencer says the individual volunteers reap rewards, too.
“Research shows that if you volunteer, there are health benefits,” Spencer says. “You live happier, longer lives. It reduces stress, increase endorphins to make you happy, cuts down on isolation if you’re lonely.”
Spencer says there’s another big plus for volunteers: networking.
“If you happen to be out of work in a rural state, in a rural community, you increase the likihood of getting a job by 55% if you’re unemployed and you’re looking for work and begin volunteering,” Spencer says. “So, for those looking for work, I encourage you to get out and volunteer.”
The report found more than half of Nebraskans, 56%, donate at least $25 to charity each year.