Each year, Volunteering in America releases a survey sharing statistics, trends and demographics about who is volunteering and where Americans spend their hours of service. The recently released survey focuses on the 62.8 million Americans who volunteered in 2010, and devoting an astounding 8.1 billion hours in service.  The service provided during those hours amounted to nearly $173 billion worth of work!

So who are America’s top volunteers? Utah, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota have the strongest numbers, with Utah averaging just over 89 hours of service per resident in 2010. Those born between 1965 and 1981 have increased their volunteer hours from last and are quickly aligning with Baby Boomers in the amount of time spent in service.

In Illinois, 2,752,059 residents volunteered 378.5 million hours of service through or for a nonprofit or community organization in 2010. Service also takes place informally when people work with neighbors to address or fix a community issue. In 2010, 6.8 percent of Illinois residents volunteered informally, totaling approximately 683,775 individuals.

In Chicago, the national volunteer rate was 26.3 percent, with 62.8 million volunteers donating approximately 8.1 billion hours of service. Over the last four years, the retention rate for volunteers in Chicago was 61.3 percent, almost on par with the national retention rate, of 64.5 percent. On an annual average, volunteers in Chicago contributed 30.4 service hours per resident (based on 2008-2010 data).

We’re proud to be part of a city that loves service, and we’re excited to see if we can continue to increase those numbers for 2011! You can find volunteer projects that meet your needs at http://www.chicagocares.org. Thank you for your service!