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Volunteering is Sexy in the United States

Volunteerism has reached a historic high in the US, reports the Christian Science Monitor:
More Americans than ever before are volunteering. In 2005, 29 percent of adults were serving – a 30-year high, according to a December report by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). It's partly because volunteerism is uniquely rooted in the American character, some experts say. Barn-raisings and harvest seasons bonded communities long ago. Today, as mentoring, drug rehabilitation, and other programs depend primarily on volunteers, and as religious groups reach far beyond their congregations to address social problems, the trend is poised to engender real change, says David Eisner, chief executive of the CNCS. "There are no other countries that have the kind of deep-rooted volunteering ethic that we have," Mr. Eisner says.
The German Koerber Foundation's "USable" contest tries to bring the American Spirit of Civic Responsibility to Germany.

The Christian Science Monitor mentions several reasons, why volunteering is so popular in the United States. The San Francisco ad campaign SF Connect highlights one additional reason: "Volunteering is Sexy" (via Erkan's Field Diary).


More about the SF Connect campaign:
When you give of yourself, you feel good. And when you feel good, you look good. After all, what could be more attractive than inner beauty? (...) Our call to action is a simple one: Give a day to San Francisco. Just think, if everyone spent just one day helping the homeless, cleaning up a city park or teaching inner city youth how to use a computer, together we could tackle and potentially eradicate many of the problems we all face as San Franciscans.
More pictures of sexy volunteers.

Related posts in the Atlantic Review concerning volunteerism:
Americans donate and volunteer a lot for good causes abroad
Top graduates teach to the poor in attempt to tackle education disparities
German relief experts at work in New Orleans and
Fulbrighters in action

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Zyme on :

"The Christian Science Monitor" ?? :D Genau. Und weil ich so gern reite leg ich mir bald einen schwarzen Schimmel zu ^^

JW-Atlantic Review on :

;-) Seriously: The Christian Science Monitor is one of the best US newspapers! As you know, we quote this paper all the time. Just use our SEARCH in the sidebar. This is from the Monitor's "About us" page: "Is the paper a religious periodical? No, it's a real newspaper published by a church — The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Mass., USA. Everything in the Monitor is international and US news and features, except for one religious article that has appeared each day in The Home Forum section since 1908, at the request of the paper's founder, Mary Baker Eddy. In an age of corporate conglomerates dominating news media, the Monitor combination of church ownership, a public-service mission, and commitment to covering the world (not to mention the fact that it was founded by a woman shortly after the turn of the century, when US women didn't yet have the vote!) gives the paper a uniquely independent voice in journalism. " More here: [url]http://www.csmonitor.com/aboutus/about_the_monitor.html[/url]

Zyme on :

Ok ok - Ich nehm alles zurück und behaupt´s Gegenteil :)

David on :

[url=http://www.churchofchristscientist.org/scienceandhealth/]Leseempfehlung[/url] fuer Zyme.

Zyme on :

David - our ancestors had a hard time enlightening and freeing their societies from this kind of *insert-bad-word-here* And you will have a hard time re-seducing me ! :) To be honest: I don´t hate the church as others do here, as it managed to preserve most of the ancient literature throughout the medieval ages. Also they played a vital role in shaping Europe and the colonizing the World. Just look at those beautiful styles of architecture of the various centuries, they can be found throughout Europe. But now - in the 21st century of this ideology - don´t you think it is about time that we move on? You know, an idea that was revolutionary 2000 years ago usually is no more today ;P

Dr. Dean on :

In Germany we have sth like "Verein" and "Ehrenamt". Okay, its not as cool (for atlanticreview) as "american volunteering". But, beside of this singular aspect, its the same... To give you a number for the "Ehrenamt": http://www.zdf.de/ZDFde/inhalt/5/0,1872,3957925,00.html

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Of course it is cool! 23 million according to your link is an impressive number. Is that number credible? That's every fourth citizen (incl. children)...

Dr. Dean on :

I think the number is very credible. There are reliable science studies about the "Ehrenamt". In Germany there really is a culture of "Ehrenamt", "Freiwilligenarbeit", "Gemeinwohlarbeit", and "Vereinswesen". And, this point ist maybe surprising, 23 mio of a population of 80* mio adult Germans are 28,75 %. Which is a bit less than the mentioned 29% in the USA. ;-) A good orientation about the German "Ehrenamt" could be found there: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehrenamt * truth is: There are only 67 mio adult germans. 15 mio are non-adult (under 18 years).

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Thanks, I will check it out and write a new post about it in the next few weeks.

Dr. Dean on :

Hmm. There is just one sentence to add: "There are no other countries that have the kind of deep-rooted volunteering ethic that [b]we[b] have - with the exception of the USA" ;-) I suppose the volunteering style and even the volunteering level is different, depending on the volonteering area. In soma areas Americans spent much more time (e.G. religious organisations). In Germany organisations like the THW (99 % voluteering) are very important. This is, i suppose, one reason (of a lot of reasons) why Germans look without good understanding to the flood catastrophe of New Orleans. We think: "Why don't they have something like a good working THW?" In the "Oderhochwasser" you can find good examples of spontanous German volunteering, which is oftenly combined with the activities of the government. And there are lots of "Sportvereine" - which can't be found in this number and intensity in the USA. Or think of the "Kölner Karneval". I am sure, that in the USA there are a lol of other examples and fields of volunteering. Hmm. I am sure it would be exciting to compare the different styles and ideas in detail. There is a lot to learn from the USA. And, maybe, from us. It would be exciting.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

The THW was helping to pump New Orleans dry: We got three posts regarding the THW: [url]http://atlanticreview.org/plugin/tag/THW[/url] Koelner Karneval is Freiwilligenarbeit/Volunteering? Well, I guess it is, but in my very personal definition: Freiwilligenarbeit/Volunteering is limited to helping others: Helping the poor, the old, kids, the handicapped, the chrononically sick and helping others in need: DLRG, Seenotrettung, freiwillige Feuerwehr etc. Karneval, however, is just a party. Organising a party is just entertainment. In my book, that is not Ehrenamt/Volunteering. Yeah, you might call it "culture" and argue that culture is important. Okay. Then you could also describe blogging as Freiwilligenarbeit/Volunteering, which it is NOT. Not everything that we are doing without getting paid is Freiwilligenarbeit/Volunteering. But that is just my understanding of it.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

If Germany would suffer from a Katrina style disaster, the THW will face severe problems. Katrina was sooo much bigger than Oderbruch.

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