Volunteering - A Grassroots Resurgence!
20 January 2004 at 12:01 pm
One of Australia’s largest and longest established service clubs, Lions Australia, suggests that volunteering to assist the less needy in the community is experiencing a resurgence at grass-roots level.
Lions Australia with 1,340 clubs and 28,000 members says it is experiencing record membership growth which is the highest for 30 years and last year Australia grew faster than any other Lions country in the world
The organisation says there’s increasing participation by key groups
– Migrants seem to see volunteer work as a way to assimilate into Australian life and make a contribution to the community
– Lions now has 18 ethnic clubs nationwide -new nationalities include Chinese, Korean, Greek, Italian, Vietnamese, Aboriginals
– The latest chairman of Lions Australia Andy Mojsiewicz is a Polish migrant.
– Women are participating in what has traditionally been perceived as a male preserve
– Nearly 20% of Lions members are now women – up from 3% 5 years ago
– Women are taking key positions eg in Victoria 3 out of 5 Districts have a woman as Governor
Lions Australia released its volunteer report as part of International Volunteer Day on December 5,2003.
The local scene is also reflected in the latest figures from the America. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that both the number of volunteers and the volunteer rate rose from 27.4 percent in 2002 to 28.8 percent of the population in 2003.
However while the number of people volunteering has increase the average number of hours spent in volunteer activities in the US has remained the same at 52 hours.
By age, 35-44 year olds were most likely to volunteer followed closely by 45-54 year old. As well more women in the US volunteer than men. Volunteer rates in 2002-2003 were also lowest among people aged 65 and over!