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Utah Leads Nation in Volunteerism

Utah Leads Nation in Volunteerism

Posted - Jun. 3, 2004 at 4:39 p.m.



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Kim Johnson ReportingUtah's called the Beehive State, but it's gaining attention as the Volunteer State. A new study has put Utah on top for giving service.

If you have volunteered lately, a new survey shows that you're not alone, especially here in Utah. Utah leads the nation in volunteer hours with nearly twice the national average.

A small army of Nuskin employees spent the morning making personal hygiene kits for distribution to local United Way agencies. This is the kind of volunteer spirit found in Utah like no other place in the nation. That's according to a new survey by the Points of Light Foundation and researchers from an Indiana University.

The study ranked Utah number one in the nation when it comes to adults who do volunteer work. The researchers estimate nearly 47-percent of Utah's older teens and adults do at least some unpaid work for an organization. That's well ahead of second-place Iowa with less than 41 percent.

Joshua Pedersen, 211 Info Bank: “Utah’s always been know as a very generous state, but I think everybody feels a need to participate and make a difference in the community.”

That difference adds up for organizations like the Special Olympics, where volunteers are today preparing for this weekend's competition.

The federal government estimates each volunteer hour saves an organization more than 17 dollars. And on average, American volunteers contribute about an hour a week.

Joshua Pedersen: "That equates to a lot of saved money in labor costs for these volunteer and non-profit organizations."

One organization that relies heavily on volunteer labor is the Utah Food Bank.

Jean Nielsen, Community Services Council: "We have on the average about 76, full-time equivalent, FTE's is what we call them, a day. So that’s 76 people working eight hours a day here at the food bank."

One of the reasons we are such a volunteering state is that there is no shortage of organizations looking for volunteers.

To find out about volunteer opportunities near you, call the 2-1-1 Info Bank at 2-1-1.

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