From snuffing out fires and saving lives to feeding the hungry in soup kitchens and helping teachers in schools, volunteers are one of the most important resources we have. But their contributions aren’t always acknowledged, which is why someone had the good sense to make April 20 Volunteer Recognition Day.
In honor of all these hard-working folks, we’ve compiled a few volunteer fun facts:
Lots of Help. In the U.S., about 25 percent of the population (63 million people) makes time to volunteer with one organization or another each year. And about 63 percent find other, less formal ways to volunteer in the community.
What it’s Worth. If volunteers were paid for the time they put in toward causes, their checks would add up to an estimated $184 billion each year.
Founding Firefighter. In 1736, Ben Franklin developed the nation’s first volunteer fire department, the Union Fire Company, in Philadelphia. The 30 members of the department would show up at fires and battle flames with leather buckets full of water.
Today’s Firefighters. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that there are more than 1,160,000 firefighters in the U.S. And about 70 percent of them are volunteers.
A Worthy Cause. In 2016, more than 32,000 American Red Cross workers responded to 180 disasters in the U.S. Volunteers performed 90 percent of the work.
Out of 50. At 43.2 percent, Utah has the highest percentage of volunteers among states. Florida, at 19.1 percent, has the lowest.
Lust for Life. Studies have shown that volunteering has a positive effect on mental and physical health. Experts believe it can even increase the length of one’s life.
This Day and Age. Generation Xers, at 28.9 percent participation, belong to the age group that volunteers most. Millennials, at 21.9 percent, volunteer least.
Infinite Energy has always embraced volunteerism. Through the efforts of our own volunteer program, we’ve seen the difference it can make in the community and in bringing employees closer together. And we’d like to thank all of you out there who take a little time to give back.