by Sarah Moreland
Do you struggle to find volunteers to help out with long-term service projects? For many people, short-term projects fit better with their busy schedules because they “don’t have enough time” to commit. Or do they? Statistics from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) show the average American adult volunteers around 50 hours annually.
And this doesn’t just apply to older adults. According to the CNCS Time Usage Report, the average college student performs 40 hours of service per year, and students working 15 hours a week served more on average than students who didn’t have a job. Additional studies have also found that volunteers are just as busy as non-volunteers. So where do volunteers find that extra time?
The only significant lifestyle difference the report found was in the amount of television students who didn’t volunteer watched – an average of 436 hours more per person each year than students who did volunteer. If each non-volunteer cut one hour of television a week and added one hour of service into that timeslot, each would have volunteered 52 hours in a year.
If you want to volunteer with weekly or monthly projects but have trouble making room in your schedule, ask yourself: “What’s stealing all my leisure time?” Keep a log of where your time goes. Do you end up browsing the Internet for a couple of hours after you check your e-mail? Or, like many of the non-volunteer students in the study, do you spend a lot of your free time in front of the TV?
Where will you find your hour?