According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3 out of 4 American adults did not volunteer for a single hour in the past year.
Of those who did volunteer, only a small fraction did so on a regular basis. While these figures may be discouraging to some, they also reveal great untapped potential for the furtherance of the common good.
Civic engagement is vital to the health of democratic societies, as it reinforces our social fabric and reminds us that collective problems are partially individual problems. If this social contract is dissolved, issues of public concern go unaddressed.
A community of volunteers tends to innovate constantly, generating new ideas and approaches to problems, while encouraging broad participation across traditional societal divisions. In contrast, low levels of volunteerism lead to insularism and apathy. The more we volunteer, the smarter, stronger, and more united our communities will be.