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Americans Remain Committed To Volunteer Work

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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - In the spirit of the holiday, it’s inspiring to know that Americans are involved with improving the lives of others.

Latest data show that one in four adults volunteered through an organization in 2012.

Altogether 64.5 million people gave nearly 7.9 billion hours. The value of this service is $175 billion based on the estimate of a volunteer hour.

Generation X, those born between 1965-1980, trended upward for the past 11 years and has the highest rate of service. Teenagers increased service hours; those over 65, spent a median of 90 hours annually, far above the national average.

The website of the National and Community Service notes further that volunteers improve their own lives as well – gaining skills, experience and contacts that can help in finding employment.

With the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps and its 800,000 members tutoring and mentoring youth, plus increases of those improving their communities, despite increased poverty and education deficits, much augurs well for the future.

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