|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – On the heels of recent flooding that brought out scores of volunteers to help clean up, a new report says Tennesseans who volunteer are more likely to keep volunteering than residents in other states.
“Volunteering in America,” from the Corporation for National and Community Service, ranks Tennessee at number five in terms of volunteer retention, meaning that 73 percent of the state’s volunteers served throughout the entire year. More than 1.3 million Tennessee residents volunteered in 2009, the most recent year for statistics, providing 162.2 million hours of service valued at more than $3.4 billion.
“We call ourselves the ‘Volunteer State’ for a reason, and I’m pleased Tennessee is being recognized for our willingness to pitch in to help each other in a tragedy, and because we keep helping whenever our neighbors need us,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “This report confirms what we already know, that we don’t simply come out to help for a day and then go home - we’ll be back tomorrow to help out, too.”
Tennessee also moved up a few notches in terms of sheer numbers of people who volunteer. The state moved to 32nd, up from 41st, among states in the overall rate of volunteers, at 28.4 percent. That’s above the above the national average of 26.8 percent.
“We are grateful to volunteers across the state who are making a difference,” said Jim Snell, executive director of Volunteer Tennessee, the governor-appointed state commission on volunteerism and community service. “We’ve seen first-hand the importance of volunteers in our communities. To create lasting and positive change, we all must do our part.
“Tennessee needs more volunteers to mentor youth, care for seniors, and meet other social needs, and anyone can visit local volunteer centers, non-profit and faith-based agencies or www.serve.gov to find the right volunteer opportunity.”
Volunteer Tennessee is a 25-member bi-partisan board appointed by the Governor. Its mission is to encourage volunteerism and community service. Flagship programs include AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America.
The full Volunteering in America report is available at www.volunteeringinamerica.gov.