Montana’s Volunteer Rate Ranks 5th In Nation

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Montana’s average volunteer rate from 2005-07 was 38 percent, ranking it No. 5 in the country, a new report shows.

On average, Montana’s 284,000 volunteers dedicated 35.3 million hours of service per year. That service was valued at nearly $684 million, the Corporation for National and Community Service study said.

The report, based on data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, looked at volunteering trends over a three-year period, from 2005-07, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 50 large and 75 mid-sized cities.

Montana ranked sixth for having an average of 47.2 volunteer hours per capita per year.

It also benefited from the service of more than 8,800 people of all ages who helped strengthen communities and increase civic engagement through 56 national service projects across the state, the report said.

“Serving through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, these citizens tutor and mentor children, coordinate after-school programs, build homes, conduct neighborhood patrols, restore the environment, respond to disasters, build nonprofit capacity and recruit and manage volunteers,” the CNCS said in a news release.

The CNCS said it will commit more than $9.4 million this year to support national service programs in Montana communities.

Meanwhile, Billings ranked 20th among mid-sized cities, with an average volunteer rate of 35.4 percent. That compares with the 2007 national average of 26.2 percent.

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