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Public Service

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Public Service

In our last blog we spoke about the message we send to others.  I said, "that as we lift our heads and our attitudes in a more positive manner, our actions become positive as well."

During past tough economic times, according to a March 7th article in  Parade Magazine, there was a decrease in volunteering.  However, today there is a compassion boom of people helping others.

An exclusive new Parade Poll of 1008 respondents demonstrate that our nation is in the midst of a volunteering boom. Thus, this blog will deal with how and why so many Americans are working to improve our communities and the world.

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Public service has become more than a phrase or a school requirement in our country.

According to CEO, Patrick Corvington of the Federal Corporation for National and Community Service, public service has now become a way of life.

  • Many people who are out of work are now volunteering to stay connected in their communities, as well as, help keep their job skills sharp.

Corvington also explains that 94% respondents believed that it is important to be personally involved in a course that they believe in and 90% said they are working hard to teach their children the importance of activism.

Parents are leading by example.

Parents are leading by example, talking to their children about issues and causes, and urging them to follow role models who are working for positive change.

It seems that compassion counts more than ever.

One of the respondents polled is an attorney who volunteers at an elder-care facility and takes his young daughter with him.  He teaches her that those out of the public view need attention.

What would you do if given a $100,000?

One of the questions asked  the 1008 Americans in the Parade poll was, what would they do if given $100,000 to donate to charity?  I have listed the top ten responses:

  1. Food and shelter for the needy
  2. Disease research
  3. Disaster relief
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Youth programs
  6. Poverty relief/job assistance
  7. Education
  8. My religious charity
  9. Global environment
  10. Public health

It seems that a lot of people have been reshaped for service as the "mindset of Christ" becomes the focus instead of our "me" focus.

As we have looked briefly at the why people are becoming involved in more volunteerism, let us now look at the how aspect of the respondents.

Making a difference.

Almost all of the respondents (98%) have engaged in at least one activity to make a difference.

  • 91% to the hungry.
  • 30% helped organize a fund raising event.
  • 32% participated in service projects such as clean up at a local beach, park, or public area.
  • 24% volunteers at a soup kitchen or food bank.

What do you think is responsible for this great change in our country today in regard to this boom in volunteering?

In my study I have found it is not what but who.

In today's population, based upon the Parade Poll, there are three distinct types of Americans who are driving the change in our communities and country.

"Yeppies, Rapid Responders, and The Mission Minded"

Just as this 76 year old was glad to see  how the Boomers changed some of the ways we do church, I am now glad to meet the new groups which are the "Yeppies," (Young, Engaged Problem Solvers), "Rapid Responders," and "The Mission Minded."

  • "Yeppies" rely on social media and socializing to fuel their activism and volunteerism.  They have faith that individuals can solve social problems.  They are open to a variety of causes.

  • "Rapid Responders" are not out to improve the entire world.  Their focus is more personal as their causes tend to stem from specific problems such as health or a neighborhood issue.  Responders often organize community events to raise awareness or money for the causes.

  • "The Mission-Minded" consist of older Americans for the most part who are motivated by their faith.  To them, supporting basic needs like food and shelter is a faith duty.  They feel that the world's problems can be fixed by faith groups.

There you have it in a few paragraphs, but I assure you, I shall study these groups in my future research.

Next time, we shall look at our diverse population.