Lt. Gov. Landrieu Applauds Increase in Volunteering in Louisiana -- 07/28/2008
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 28, 2008
Lt. Gov. Landrieu Applauds Increase in Volunteering in Louisiana
Louisiana Doubles Volunteer Hours from 44.8 M in 2006 to 98.6 M in 2007
BATON ROUGE - More than 698,000 Louisiana citizens volunteered during 2007, serving 98.6 million volunteer hours and providing an economic impact to the state of $1.9 billion. The statistics were released today in a comprehensive annual study by the Corporation for National and Community Service entitled, "Volunteering in America Report."
The 2007 report revealed significant increases in volunteer statistics for Louisiana compared to last year's report. In 2006, it was reported that 586,000 citizens volunteered, serving 44.8 million volunteer hours, and Louisianans who volunteered served an average of 30.3 hours in 2007, versus 14.1 in 2006.
"I declared 2007 the Year of Service in Louisiana," said Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu. "I am heartened that so many citizens are giving their time and talents to make their communities better places to live, work, and play. The increase in the number of volunteers is a tribute to the commitment of Louisianans to citizen service."
The increase is especially noteworthy as the national average declined slightly for a second year. Lt. Governor Landrieu notes that there is still much work to be done to engage all citizens in service. "Our goal is for all citizens to find a place to engage in service in their communities."
The report also notes that nearly one in three college students in the state volunteers. "We value the efforts of our institutions of higher education to instill an ethic of service in their students. By supporting and organizing meaningful group volunteer opportunities and encouraging service-learning in the classrooms, students gain insights into the problems within their communities and the potential for volunteer service to solve those problems," said Brooke Smith, Director of Strategic Partnerships in the Office of the Lt. Governor.
More than 24,000 people of all ages and backgrounds in Louisiana are helping to meet local needs and strengthen communities through an ongoing commitment to serve in one of 264 national service projects across the state. "Serving through AmeriCorps, Learn & Serve America, and Senior Corps, our citizens tutor and mentor children, coordinate after-school programs, build homes, conduct neighborhood patrols, restore the environment, respond to disasters, build nonprofit capacity and recruit and manage volunteers," said Gary Wheat, Executive Director of the Louisiana Serve Commission.
Lt. Governor Landrieu also noted that the continued presence of out-of-state volunteers, or voluntourists, is helping in the ongoing recovery efforts of south Louisiana. More than 1.1 million voluntourists have helped in the state's recovery since the storms in 2005.
Reported national rankings are based on a three-year period from 2005-2007. Louisiana's national rankings continue to be low due to reported decreases in volunteerism following the hurricanes of 2005. In the 2007 report, Louisiana ranked 48th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for having a three-year average volunteer rate of 20.9 percent, and Louisiana ranked 51st for having a three-year average of 22.8 volunteer hours per capita per year.
To find a service opportunity in a local community, visit www.volunteerlouisiana.gov or call 1-866-286-3835. ###