Thursday, March 5, 2009

Teens Giving More of Their Time

A recent survey administered by Harris Interactive in conjunction with World Vision reveals that more American teenagers volunteer their time than work part-time jobs. President Obama's popularity with young people has been commonly cited as a possible reason for the trend. Although a controversial move, obligatory community service hours at many middle and high schools may actually be helping to get more teens engaged in service. Community service graduation requirements may translate into more committed, long-term volunteers among those students who were interested in service but didn't know how to get involved, or students who didn't know they were interested in service until they were introduced to a particular program through school. Yet this policy has not been adopted by many schools, and teen volunteerism is on the rise everywhere. This must be in large part due to increased national awareness of the unique challenges society faces and the power of individuals to respond through contributions of time and money. Since teens generally have more time than money to offer, volunteerism is a great way for them to take an interest in the issues they care about most. And since donations of time are every bit as valuable as monetary gifts, we hope they're taking a moment to review our Guide to Volunteering before investing their time.

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