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~ November 2002 ~ Topics

Volunteers Earn Money for College Tuition Credit Through Americorps

The HELP program is an Americorps affiliated education tuition award program that supports and encourages higher education students to volunteer in their communities in the area of public safety, education, human needs, and environmental initiatives. The program is sponsored by Campus Compact and is available at institutions of higher education in California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The funding comes from the Corporation for National And Community Service.

Students can earn money for hours volunteered;

  • $1000 for 300 hours of service;
  • $1250 for 450 hours;
  • $2362 for 900 hours of service.

Work study students who meet certain qualifications can participate in this program, also. Students must be enrolled at a participating campus, attend an orientation session, fill out paper work, and complete the volunteer service within two years.

There are a wide variety of activities that meet the criteria for this program.

  • Recycling program
  • Stream restoration
  • Wildlife conservation
  • Serving with Red Cross
  • Volunteer firefighting
  • Tutoring
  • Mentoring
  • Volunteer teaching of ESL or GED classes
  • After school program

Those interested in this program should contact a local higher education instituion to see if they are participating; check the Campus Compact Web site; or call the local organization that sponsors Americorps programs. Any of those locations might be able to help you find student volunteers.

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Where Have the Faithful Gone?

Volunteers of varying religious traditions attribute their volunteer activities to the mandates of their faith. This is frequently reinforced by clergy reminding the faithful of their duty to service and community. Friends from faith communities often volunteer in the same secular community organizations. These facts are what makes a recent study of religious attitudes a matter of concern.

Using the General Social Survey (GSS), a multivariable survey of US households, which is conducted by the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center, Michael Hout and Claude Fischer concluded in an article in the American Sociological Review, that a growing number of adults believe in God, but avoid affiliating with the institutional church.

From 1991 to 1998 adults giving no religious preference moved from 7% to 14%. This group believes in God, but does not indicate a denominational choice. While a 7% increase may seem small the authors say, "This doubling of no religion preference is highly significant because for the 17 year period from 1974 -1991 there was no significant change in religious preference."

It is important to note that this change is not based on people losing their faith. In an interesting anomally, that the number of people with no stated denomination expressing an unfaltering belief in God moved from 13% to 29% in 2000. There is also an in increase in those not affiliated with a denomination who believe in miracles, life after death, and that God is concerned about people.

"Why More Americans Have No Religious Preference: Politics and Generations" by Michael Hout and Claude S. Fischer, American Sociological Review, April 2002. As reported in The Futurist, November/December 2002.

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Episodic Volunteering a Global Trend

Episodic volunteering or short-term service seems to be a North American and European trend. Now word comes from Singapore that it is spreading world wide. A new study by the National Volunteer Centre of Singapore says that more than 70% of active volunteers said they preferred assignments of six months or less. The study also describes a volunteer group wishing to serve on short notice or work on ad hoc projects.

From "Grapevine", September/October 2002. For information on subscriptions: Contact Volunteer Marketplace 800-272-8306. (EST)

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Trends Summary

There are times when the writers of Volunteer Today want to include information that is lengthy or requires special formatting that clutters up the regular pages. In the future you will find such documents by reading a short article and being directed to a PDF file. This allows for easy printing and reading and keeps the pages of Volunteer Today lean and to the point. (NM)

Each year the editorial team of the "The Futurist," a magazine published by The World Futurists Society mines the previous year's issues and compiles the predictions into a single document for readers. This year's topics ranged from Business and Economics to Lifestyles to World Affairs. The senior editor of Volunteer Today has selected those trends that are likely to impact the recruitment and management of volunteers at all levels of an organization. Here are some short samples. For the full list visit the page, Trends That Impact Volunteering in the Future click on the following pdf file, voltrends.pdf.

  • 60% of the world's people will live in cities by 2030
  • More violent weather ahead: deadlier storms, hotter summers, dryer deserts, and wetter coastal areas.
  • Web-based control might eliminate drunk driving
  • Childlessness is becoming the norm in the US
  • Arts patrons can experience culture around the world, without leaving home
  • Food will be plentiful in the near future.


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.

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