Gov. Ricketts Announces Nebraska Ranks 7th Nationally for Volunteerism

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that Nebraska ranks seventh in the nation for volunteerism according to the annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America report released this week. The report was compiled by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that helps Americans engage in volunteer activities in the community.

“Volunteers are an anchor in the civic life of every community across Nebraska,” said Governor Ricketts. “They enrich our lives and help grow our state. Service to others connects us with our neighbors and gives us the opportunity to put others before ourselves. As citizens, there are so many ways we can make a difference for those who are in

need, during this holiday season and throughout the entire year. Susanne and I encourage all Nebraskans to take advantage of volunteer opportunities in your community.”

The CNCS report also found that 73.1 percent of Nebraskans who have engaged in volunteerism in the past continue to volunteer. Volunteers in Nebraska contribute 61.3 million hours of service activity that were valued at an estimated $1.4 billion in 2014.

“Every day, volunteers of all ages are giving their time and talents to solve problems and make our nation stronger,” said CNCS CEO Wendy Spencer. “Whether tutoring students or connecting veterans to services or responding to natural disasters, Americans are doing extraordinary things to improve lives and strengthen communities. As they serve others, volunteers help themselves by learning new skills, increasing job prospects, and even improving their health.”

ServeNebraska, the Nebraska Volunteer Service Commission, coordinates and supports community involvement by Nebraskans. Governor Ricketts and ServeNebraska encourage the citizens of Nebraska to give back to your community all year long and during the upcoming ServeNebraska Week of Service, an annual statewide initiative to promote volunteerism that will run April 9-16, 2016.

Cathleen Plager, Executive Director of ServeNebraska, said, “Volunteering is the foundation of small town Nebraska, and it all starts by helping your neighbor, your child’s school or your favorite non-profit and citizens are empowered to join

together to make their community a better place to live, work and play.”

Governor Ricketts and ServeNebraska also remind citizens that during the holiday season, Nebraskans have a variety of volunteering options, including helping out at a community center, taking a meal to a sick or elderly neighbor, or lending a hand at a local food bank or homeless shelter among numerous other opportunities.

Across the United States, volunteers provide critical support to our nation’s nonprofit, civic, and faith-based organizations, offering time, skills, and monetary support. The Volunteering and Civic Life in America research found that volunteers are almost twice as likely to donate to charity as non-volunteers. Nearly eight in 10 (79.2 percent) volunteers donated to charity, compared to four in 10 (40.4 percent) of non-volunteers. Overall, half of all citizens (50.5 percent) donated at least $25 to charity in 2014 and in Nebraska 56.2% of citizens donated at least $25 to charity in 2014.

The data for this report was collected through the Current Population Survey (CPS): the Volunteer Supplement. Conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau on behalf of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CPS is a monthly survey of about 60,000 households representing approximately 100,000 adults ages 16 and older. Volunteers are considered individuals who performed unpaid volunteer activities through or for an organization at any point during a 12-month period each September.

The full report and customizable data sets can be found at www.volunteeringinamerica.gov. Individuals interested in

finding local volunteer opportunities can visit www.serve.gov.