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Volunteering In Bloomington And Beyond

This week on Noon Edition, we discussed the growing need for volunteers in a down economy. Joining us in the studio were Bloomington Volunteer Network Director Bet Savich, IU Kelley School Civic Leadership Development Director Molly Barwick, and St. Charles School Principal Alec Mayer.

You can listen to the entire program by clicking the play button above.  Some highlights:

  • The Bloomington Volunteer Network offers volunteer opportunities for only the week of IU’s Spring Break, when many of its normal volunteers are away from the community
  • Bloomington’s annual “Be More” Awards ceremony takes place April 27th.
  • Volunteers are needed at Bloomington’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program, which maintains a waiting list of children (especially boys) who need a Big of their own.
  • St. Charles School has begun collecting money to send to Haiti by selling $2 wristbands — almost $1400 worth.
  • The panelists agreed the economy has slowed volunteer efforts.
  • Wendy Westphal

    I think it is great that so many people volunteer. However, before you make the claim that Americans are “unique” in the world in the fact that they volunteer, you should get some facts, rather than rely on the one or two things you have heard. It would also be wise not to generalize that Americans have more of a volunteer spirit than “Europeans” in general. Which Europeans are you talking about? Certainly in lower-income countries where a large part of the population has existential concerns, there will be less volunteerism. (You mentioned the Ukraine and Kazakhstan as two examples of the lack of volunteer spirit in Europe. That's an unfair and uninformed generalization) I lived in Germany (a European country) for eight years and there is a great tradition of volunteering there. I am sure if you would look at other European countries, you would find that to be the case, as well. The international organization Medicin san frontiers, just off the top of my head. I am disappointed to hear this kind of (uninformed) patriotic boastfulness on public radio.

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