Volunteerism rising

Over the past four years, commitment to volunteerism in the U.S. has risen 12 percent, a new index says.

In a collaborative effort with Indiana University, the Points of Light Foundation and the Volunteer Center National Network developed the National Volunteering Index to measure volunteerism in the U.S.

The index, similar to other measures such as the consumer price index, was developed to track changes in key components of volunteering.

The xndex was released during National Volunteer Week, April 23-29, that was sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation to honor and bring awareness to volunteers and their contributions.

Contributions of volunteers represent a significant part of the U.S. economy, the foundation said, noting the value of volunteer time in 2005 was $18.04 an hour, as estimated by Independent Sector.

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