Young people volunteer — voluntarily

Teenagers are into volunteering.

American teenagers today are 100 percent more likely to volunteer than teenagers in the last few decades, federal research shows. A record 68 percent of K-12 schools offer or recognize service opportunities for students, according to a study by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a government agency, which also reports a 69 percent increase in applications to the AmeriCorps program over the last four years.

All this predates Obama.

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  1. Bill Leonard says:

    From the link:

    “This service ethic is evident nationwide – inspiring middle-school students to raise arts scholarship money for their needy peers; driving college students to craft programs combating youth violence and promoting small loans to entrepreneurs; and moving 20- and 30-somethings to create internationally focused nonprofit organizations.”


    This is all about noblesse oblige, or maybe culturally induced guilt, in a second- or third-consecutive generation of comfortable young people growing up in the most bountiful society the world has ever known — even in these presumably depressionary (though that’s not remotely true) times.

    I am 65 years old, and from a generation that was born of people still recovering from the depression. There was a work ethic, not necessarily a “help” ethic — except in the sense of the old saw that God helps those who help themselves. Yrs, truly, grew up on the outskirts of Des Moines and was introduced at an early age to the virtues of a hoe applied in the city lot-sized gardens of my parents and grandparents. And as a blue collar family, we were doing comparatively well.

    Later on, after a move to California, my dad died when I was 15. I worked at part-time and full-time jobs to support my mother and myself, to get an education, to raise a family and buy a home, and so forth, from then on until retirement — in which I still condcut a part-time business. I did not and do not expect a handout, or a volunteer assist. And while I have nothing against volunteerism, I suspect that it does little in the long run to help those whose lives would be better served, in the long run, if they worked harder to assist themselves and their dependents.

    And now, let the inevitable flames begin!

  2. Catch Thirty-Thr33 says:

    What flames, Bill? You were and are spot-on!

    Personally, if I had the time to do it and lived in an area with a volunteer fire department, I’d do that again – a very worthwhile cause, and one that has its moments where, yes, it can be fun and exciting. But I’ll settle for sending some cash to one I used to belong to for now…

    Propping up local VFDs – which constitute an eye-popping majority of firefighting organizations nationwide – seems to me a better volunteer/cash donation alternative than some feel-good “internationally focused nonprofit organization”.