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~April 2002~ Topics
  • From Whence the Freedom Corps
  • Who is Volunteering?
  • Where is Gen X?
  • Trends in Japan

From Whence the Freedom Corps

President Bush announced the establishment of the Freedom Corps during the 2002 State of the Union Address. The program is designed to highlight volunteerism and especially programs of national service like Peace Corps, Americorps, and VISTA. There is also interest in promoting the federal senior programs such as RSVP, Foster Grandparents, and the like.

In addition, the President is creating a new program called the Citizen Corps. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has been charged with the responsibility of working with governors, mayors, and emergency management staff to build a corps of citizens who can respond locally in case of a disaster or terrorist attack.
Most of the information on the scope of the President's efforts is accessible from the Web page ( There is a Policy Manual at that site that can be downloaded from a PDF document. You can also hotlink to specific programs or Web sites to provide information.

Local programs can involve volunteers in this effort. There is a site for volunteers to keep a journal on their experiences, which is in a secure location. Those volunteers, who enjoy their volunteer work and the computer, might like keeping such a journal.

Where is Gen X?

Generation X includes people between 25 and 34. Where are they and what are they doing that might tell how to recruit them? Here are some facts.

  • Generation X is 37.8 million strong
  • 20.3 million of them are married (55%)
  • 7% are living with someone
  • 65% of Gen X women have children
  • This is the first generation that grew up having to deal with large scale divorce and single parent households
  • Some research shows them to be interested in such things as family stability and financial security
  • Some demographers see this generation as better equipped to avoid the pitfalls of financial traps than their parents.
  • 30% of women in this generation are college educated
  • Most Gen Xers, men and women, are open to either parent staying home to care for small children.
  • Gen Xers (and baby boomers) report wanting to spend more time with family at a higher rate than any other demographic group. 81% for Gen Xers. 86% for Baby Boomers. (Family volunteer programs would be appealing to either of these groups.)

Who is Volunteering?

Independent Sector is out with its new report on giving and volunteering in the US. Here are some statistics about what they learned.

      • 83.9 million people over the age of 21 volunteer (44% of the population
      • They averaged 3.6 hours per week of service annually
      • 85% of nonprofit organization have volunteers
      • 92% of religious organizations have volunteers
      • 69% percent report regular volunteering of monthly or more often
      • 63% of people say they would volunteer if someone asked them
      • Volunteers give more money than non-volunteers; almost twice as much
      • People who attend regular church services volunteer at higher rates than those who are not regular attendees.
      • 54% of regular attendees volunteer, while 32% of non-attendees volunteer.
      • Women are more likely to volunteer than men 46% to 42% respectively
      • 28% of Americans volunteer with their family members

Trends in Japan

  • The birthrate in Japan is plunging while the elderly population booms.
  • Japan's population is among the worlds most educated.
  • Japan is the third largest economy, behind the US and China and is in a serious decline.
  • Political power is shifting from industry and rural interests to consumers and urban populations
  • Japan has few natural resources and is now the world's leader in producing solar cells and rooftop solar panels.
  • "Cities in the sea" are being created for future things such as airports.
  • Gender roles are becoming less rigid. Very few arranged marriages happen in 2002.
  • The younger generation is more consumer oriented than the older generation.
  • Japan leads the world in robotics.
  • The use of wireless technology is greatest among the young in Japan.


The Points of Light Foundation has forms available to nominate volunteers and volunteer organizations for the Daily Points of Light Award. It is designed recognize individuals and groups that demonstrate unique and innovative approaches to community volunteering and citizen action, with a strong emphasis on service focused on the goals for children and young people set by the Presidents Summit for American's Future.The award is given five days a week, excluding holidays. If you would like nomination forms, contact Crystal Hill at 202-729-8000.


By calling 1-800-VOLUNTEER in the U.S., individuals can be connected to their local volunteer center. This is a national interactive call routing system designed to get volunteers connected to people who can help them volunteer.

Copyright 2002 by Nancy Macduff.

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