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Here's Some Good News: Volunteering Is On The Rise

Nov. 22: Volunteers prepared  Thanksgiving dinners for people in the Queens borough of New York City, which was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.
Mario Tama
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Nov. 22: Volunteers prepared Thanksgiving dinners for people in the Queens borough of New York City, which was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.

Enough of the bad news for a moment.

Smack in the middle of the holiday season, here's something that underscores how generous many Americans are:

"64.3 million Americans (more than one in four adults) volunteered through a formal organization last year, an increase of 1.5 million from 2010," the Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship report.

The organizations also estimate that "two out of three Americans (65.1% or 143.7 million individuals) volunteered informally by doing favors for and helping out their neighbors, an increase of 9.5 percentage points from last year."

Of course, natural disasters — such as Superstorm Sandy — increase the need for volunteers. So there is something of a flip side to this story.

But as we said, there's more than enough bad news around. Let's focus on the positive for a moment.

Note: That's just a question, not a survey of public opinion.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.

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