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Friday, October 1, 2004
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1-800-VOLUNTEER in Athens now online

ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 1, 2004) -- The Center for Community Service at Ohio University has unveiled a new Web-based resource to support volunteer recruitment for Athens area non-profit organizations. 1-800-VOLUNTEER.org, a sister service of the 1-800-volunteer telephone system, matches volunteers to service opportunities by zip code search. Developed and supported by the Points of Light Foundation, a national organization that promotes volunteerism, the new system was deployed to volunteer centers last spring.

This locally-tailored national Web site portal provides volunteers with a direct connection to volunteer opportunities that match interests, skills, and the common desire to make a difference. Non-profit organizations use the system to more efficiently promote their organization and its volunteer opportunities and to recruit, communicate with, and track volunteers

Volunteering has become an essential part of American life. In June the Points of Light Foundation and researchers at Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis revealed data on the rate of adult volunteering in the US. Conclusions were based upon raw data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for its monthly Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is a monthly survey of about 60,000 households.

Volunteers, for this purpose, are defined as persons aged 16 and above who did unpaid work through or for an organization. The national average of people that volunteer in the U.S. is 27.4 percent. The highest average was in Utah at 46.8 percent. Ohio ranked 22 with 30.2 percent of adults volunteering. On average, an adult who volunteers spends fifty two hours a year volunteering and the current estimated dollar value of a volunteer hour is $17.19 according to the Independent Sector (www.independentsector.org).

Volunteering is a significant way to bring people together, to reconnect society and help solve serious social problems. Through volunteer service, people can strengthen and improve the quality of life within their communities, and help themselves and others to live happier, healthier and more productive lives.

To get involved in community service and to find out more about 1-800-VOLUNTEER.org, contact the Center for Community Service, 033 Baker University Center, 593-4007, www.ohio.edu/commserv  

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Media Contact: Merle Graybill, (740) 593-4028

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