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Washington ranks ninth nationally for volunteering
OLYMPIA — Volunteers in Washington demonstrated their commitment to improving their communities in a variety of ways last year and ranked ninth among top states, according to the Volunteering and Civic Life in America 2013 report. More than 1.95 million Washingtonians served 254 million total hours, at a value of $5.8 billion.
Seattle ranked fourth among the 51 largest metropolitan statistical areas and first in the young adult category with 32.6 percent of young adults ages 16–24 volunteering.
“Volunteers can contribute as little or as much as their time allows — their ideas and talents are integral in strengthening communities in Washington,” said Debbie Schuffenhauer, executive director of the Washington Commission for National and Community Service.
The VCLA data are part of the most comprehensive study of volunteering and civic engagement across the country. The annual report is issued by the Corporation for National and Community Service in partnership with the National Council on Citizenship, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau for Labor Statistics to expand the reach and impact of America’s volunteers.
The report shows one in four adults (26.5 percent) volunteered through an organization in 2012, demonstrating that volunteering remains an important activity for millions of Americans.
Altogether, 64.5 million Americans volunteered nearly 7.9 billion hours last year. The estimated value of this volunteer service is nearly $175 billion, based on an independent sector estimate of the average value of one volunteer hour.
The report also ranks all 50 states and the nation’s largest cities and metropolitan areas for their volunteering and civic engagement rates. It has become a useful tool for elected officials, civic leaders and nonprofit executives who recognize the economic influence of an engaged community.
Officials and leaders also use the report as a tool to develop strategies that mobilize more Americans in service and address local needs and problems.
The complete report can be accessed at VolunteeringInAmerica.gov.