TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Kansas was ranked in the top 10 in volunteerism due to more than 700,000 people participating in more than 50 million hours of service while the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing.
Every two years, AmeriCorps and the US Census Bureau partnered to collect data and create the “Volunteer Service and Civic Engagement Report.” In its findings, the two agencies ranked each state in order of overall volunteerism demonstrated during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey, in particular, looked at “informal and formal” volunteering in the United States. Informal means helping a neighbor, friend or family member in need of help, while formal volunteering helps a local organization in need of volunteers. Kansas was ranked much lower on the list when it comes to informal volunteering. However, Kansas’ formal volunteer rate in 2021 was 31.5%, giving Kansas State a ranking of eighth in the nation.
According to Volunteer Kansas, approximately 707,000 volunteers served 53.1 million hours in Kansas from September 2020 to September 2021, contributing an estimated economic value of nearly $1.4 billion through volunteer assistance.
The survey also found that more than half of Americans (about 124.7 million people) informally helped their neighbors at least once last year. Additionally, more than 23% of Americans (about 60.7 million people) have formally volunteered with an organization, contributing more than 4.1 billion hours of community service and an estimated economic value of $122.9 billion, while the COVID-19 pandemic was still an issue among Kansanians.
“We are proud of the volunteers who are doing things for Kansas,” said Nola Brown, executive director of Volunteer Kansas. “Volunteering has a significant impact on our state’s ability to meet so many local needs, including food insecurity, homelessness, and even animal rehoming. Throughout the year, he considers giving the gift of time. Whether you volunteer long-term, short-term, or just once, your time makes a huge difference. You can find volunteer opportunities across the state at www.volunteerkansas.org”