Young Americans are setting an example for their parents through their volunteer efforts, says a new poll.
The survey by charity World Vision found that 56% of teens volunteer to support a charitable cause compared to the 39% that work part-time. In fact, teens are volunteering at a higher rate than adults; 46% of the adults surveyed said they volunteer their time.
Some are attributing the increase in teen volunteerism to the election of Barack Obama, whose platform has stressed the importance of service.
Sara Johnson, a Chicago area English teacher, told the Miami Herald, "I think that kids are realizing more and more how important it is."
The teacher witnessed a similar surge after Hurricane Katrina, and believes this generation of teens is more involved in charitable work than her generation was. Indeed the Millennial generation has been shown to be the most civically engaged in the history of our nation.
Alynn Woodson, director of volunteer engagement at Habitat for Humanity International, said she has noticed a new enthusiasm among teen volunteers for the Atlanta-based organization.
"I've worked at Habitat for about eight years now. Over that time it's been great to see the increase in youth volunteering. But throughout that time, I've never seen it be quite so energetic as I'm seeing now," Woodson told the Miami Herald. "Students are feeling very energized by this new president encouraging them to go out and serve."
Habitat for Humanity is among the organizations benefiting immensely from this surge in youth service. This year's alternative spring break program, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, is expecting more than 12,000 young people to help build homes for low-income people around the nation.
Are you more willing to serve in your community nowadays? Do you find that more young people in your area are getting involved in service? Contact United Way of Greater Lafayette Volunteer Center and see how you can get your youth involved.