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District of Columbia residents rank 7th in the nation for volunteer service

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A new report on volunteering and civic life in America shows that District of Columbia residents now rank in the top 10 states in America. “Washington is unique in that it is listed as both a city and a state in the report,” said a spokesperson for the Corporation for National and Community Service.

“The people of the D.C. metro area should be proud of their strong leadership in volunteering,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “Volunteers enrich our communities and keep our nation strong. Service to others also connects us with our neighbors and provides us a chance to use our own skills for the common good. As citizens, there are so many ways we can make a difference for those who are in need, during this holiday season and throughout the entire year,” Spencer said.

The report indicates that more than 1.5 million volunteers gave 171.8 million hours of service worth an estimated $3.8 billion dollars. The study indicated that that one in four adults (26.5 percent) volunteered in 2012, demonstrating that volunteering remains an important activity for millions of Americans. Altogether, 64.5 million Americans volunteered nearly 7.9 billion hours. The estimated value of this volunteer service is nearly $175 billion, based on the Independent Sector’s estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour. Additionally, the report shows that increased commitment to volunteering spans across generations. The major highlights of the report found:

• The volunteer rate of Generation Xers (born between 1965 and 1981) has trended upward over the past 11 years, increasing nearly 5.5 percentage points, and Generation X has the highest volunteer rate of any age group.

• Older Americans (ages 65 and older) donated nearly twice as many hours per volunteer than the population as a whole, with a median of 90 volunteer hours in 2012 compared to 50 hours for the general population.

• Volunteering has trended upward among teenagers (ages 16-19) over the past six years, up nearly 3 percentage points since 2007.

• The volunteer rate of parents living with children under the age of 18 remained higher than the population as a whole and people who do not live with children under 18 (38.5 percent compared to 26.5 percent and 23.8 percent, respectively).

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), an independent federal agency, plays a vital role in supporting the American culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility and is a leading grantmaker in support of service and volunteering. Through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, the Social Innovation Fund, and other programs and initiatives, CNCS provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and address critical needs. To learn more, visit www.nationalservice.gov.

Today Mayor Vincent Gray will present the Mayor’s Community Service Awards to District residents making a notable impact through volunteerism and service. Gray will also present the inaugural Corporate Engagement Award to Monumental Sports and Entertainment for their commitment to volunteer engagement in the District. Award recipients by category are: Sonia Pearson (Youth Volunteer Service Award), Dilys Lande (Education Service Award), John McGuire (Emergency Preparedness and Public Safety Award), Virginia McLaurin (National Service Award), Iris Molotsky (Community Service Award). The Metropolitan Police Department, the Department of Behavioral Health, the D.C. Public Library and the Department of Parks and Recreation will also recognize four residents who have volunteered their time to make their community better.

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