Although the Declaration of Human Rights established that people have an obligation to their community to volunteer, many people today do not fulfill their duties.

In fact, only 26 percent of Americans volunteered in 2010, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. This number is low in comparison to the large number of non-profit and charitable organization across the country, but about right when thinking of the limited number of people that can usually volunteer with one place or project.

- Picture from Corporation for National and Community Service

Picture from Corporation for National and Community Service

In Memphis the number is even lower at 24.8 percent. This number seems low because of the surplus of volunteer opportunities in Memphis. In a 2010 Food Research and Action Center report, Memphis ranked number one for food hardship. As a result, the city has many organizations that are dedicated to ending hunger, and many ways that people can get involved.

Since the volunteer rate in Memphis is seemingly low, it is shocking that Memphis ranks 38th  out of 51 large cities in the nation for volunteering.

Picture from Corporation for National and Community Service

Picture from Corporation for National and Community Service

Also, a majority, 50.5 percent, of the volunteering in Memphis is in a religious setting. This is typical because many people, not only in Memphis but in America as a whole, feel obligated to volunteer at church since churches are often close-knit.

The percentage of Memphians who participate in community service that helps non-profit organizations is less than 10%. This number is extremely sad, because non-profit organizations need the most help. They offer their services free of charge to anyone who needs them. Often, people who can volunteer with an organization have benefited from their services or know someone who has.

The volunteer rates in Memphis and in America are low. Every community offers a few ways that people can get involved. Don’t choose not to help. Americans have a duty to help their society and their community. It is time to start making a change.

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