Volunteering soars

Fueled by teens, middle-aged adults and seniors, the volunteer rate in the U.S. has reached a 30-year high, a new study says.

The study, “Volunteering in America: State Trends and Rankings,” was conducted by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service, which aims to expand the ranks of volunteers by 10 million by the year 2010.

Teens ages 16 to 19 have doubled their volunteer time since 1989, the study says, which could lead to a resurgence of civic mindedness as they reach adulthood.

Baby Boomers, sometimes referred to as the “Me Generation,” are giving their time at a higher rate than the previous generation, and the volunteer rate of people age 65 and older has jumped by two-thirds since 1974.

Overall, 65.4 million adults volunteered a total of 8.2 billion hours in 2005, which the study says is the equivalent of about $147.6 billion.

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