Contrary to national trends, volunteerism is alive and nicely in Volusia and Flagler counties, with some people providing 𠇌ountless” hours supporting regional organizations and projects nearest and dearest to them.
“I can’t even start to tell you how numerous hours volunteers donate for the Giving Retailer, and that’s just 1 (occasion),” said Judy Mazzella, volunteer coordinator for the nonprofit Flagler Volunteer Services. Some 75 people are required to man the “store” itself as children in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to “shop” for everybody in their household.
“We hold two rummage sales a year to pay for anything,” Mazzella said. “The children come through, shop, see Santa and all of their presents are present-wrapped for them to give.”
The national typical volunteer rate in 2013 was the lowest it has been due to the fact numbers were initial collected in 2002, according to the most current report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But that doesn’t appear to hold true in Flagler or Volusia counties.
The United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties volunteer center has in fact noticed an uptick in the quantity of volunteers more than the past two years, officials stated.
The number of volunteers for the fiscal year starting in June 2013 was three,890 and the present calendar year — January via Dec. 15 — stands at four,116.
“We are encouraged that for the second year in a row, we are seeing an boost in the number of volunteers and volunteer possibilities in our community,” mentioned Crystal Elkins, spokeswoman for United Way. “Our community grows stronger and our futures brighter as much more individuals give of their time and talent.”
The most current Bureau of Labor Statistics report was based on a survey of 60,000 households across the U.S. including the District of Columbia, stated Emy Sok, an economist with the bureau.
“It’s basically a fairly major sample,” he mentioned in an interview earlier this year.
Volunteers spent a median of 50 hours per year on volunteer activities from September 2012 to September 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Time spent on volunteer activities was equivalent for females and males,” the report states. 𠇊mong these who volunteered, median annual hours spent on volunteer activities ranged from a low of 36 hours for those 25 to 34 years old to a high of 86 hours for those over the age of 65.”
There are some who major 500 hours of annual volunteer service, like 89-year-old Nemo Farmer of Palm Coast.
“I do a lot of volunteer operate through RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer System),” he stated. “I’m at the hospital (Florida Hospital Flagler) just about every week driving the cart around to bring people to their vehicles. I volunteer as an usher at the Flagler Auditorium. I do a lot of issues.”
He estimates he volunteers about ten hours a week.
“I just like to preserve busy,” Farmer stated. “Sometimes my wife just tells me what I’m going to do.”
The quantity of Flagler County volunteers increased about five percent in 2013 to 938 active volunteers in the neighborhood and 1,259 in schools, Flagler Volunteer Solutions executive director Suzy Gamblain stated in the course of a preceding interview.
The number of volunteers is likely greater, and challenging to track, Gamblain mentioned, because there are a number of organizations that don’t share their numbers.
“Our numbers do not incorporate those who volunteer at the library, the hospital, the Humane Society and the Flagler County sheriff’s volunteers (referred to as COPs, or Citizens Observer Patrol,” she mentioned.
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