Tired of hearing people grouse about a tuned-out, apathetic younger generation?
Well, here's a comeback: Today's young Americans are more serious about giving back than their parents were.
In fact, those under age 30 now are more likely to say citizens have a "very important obligation" to volunteer, an Associated Press-GfK poll finds.
The embrace of volunteering is striking because young people's commitment to other civic duties — such as voting, serving on a jury and staying informed — has dropped sharply from their parents' generation and is lower than that of Americans overall.
Among six civic activities in the AP-GfK poll, volunteering is the only one that adults under 30 rated as highly as older people did.
"I want to make my city where I live a better place," Morgan Gress, 24, of Washington said after sorting and hanging donated clothes with co-workers who chose to volunteer in lieu of an office holiday party. After you volunteer, she said, "You never walk away feeling you didn't have a great time, or help someone out, or learn something new."
Today's young adults grew up amid nudges from a volunteering infrastructure that has grown exponentially since their parents' day, when the message typically came through churches or scouting.
Gress doesn't find it unusual that her employer, a hub for tech startups called 1776, encouraged workers to sort clothes at Bread for the City during office hours. Most of her friends work at companies with some sort of volunteer program, she says. Community service was required at her private high school in Buffalo, New York, like many other schools across the country. Volunteer opportunities were plentiful as a student at American University.
In the decades since President George H.W. Bush championed America's volunteer groups as "a thousand points of light" at his 1989 inaugural, the number of nonprofits has skyrocketed. The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and Sept. 11 have become days of service. Individuals launch community projects through social media, instead of hanging posters and making phone calls.
Twenty percent of adults under 30 volunteered in 2013, up from 14 percent in 1989, according to census data analyzed by the Corporation for National and Community Service. It seems likely that the Millennials' volunteering rate will climb higher, because past generations have peaked in their 30s and 40s, when many parents give their time to schools, youth groups or community improvements.
Read the full story at by Connie Cass, Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/29/millennials-volunteering