April 8, 2009, The Economist — In a Manhattan park on March 31st the Unemployment Olympics took place. Participants competed in events such as the “Telephone Toss” and “Pin the Blame on the Bosses”. But other unemployed people are looking for charity work to occupy their time. Many non-profit organisations are seeing an increase in people looking to help. Even before the economic crisis, AmeriCorps, a programme which takes young volunteers for a year, was turning away two applicants for every one it accepted. Teach for America, which sends recent college graduates to teach in needy schools, saw 35,000 students apply for up to 4,000 openings this year. In February VolunteerNYC.org, New York’s public-service site, saw a 27% increase in visitors compared with a year ago.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 12, 2009, The New York Times — QUINN RALLINS, 23, graduated magna cum laude last year from Morehouse College with a dual major in international studies and Spanish. This spring, Mr. Rallins is finishing his master’s degree in comparative social policy at Oxford. He has analyzed research for the Rand Corporation in England, led workshops in Malaysia for Amnesty International and founded an organization to help orphans in the Dominican Republic.
April 6, 2009, Huffington Post — Michael Stoops says the recession is bringing out a volunteer spirit in America.
April 2, 2009, The New York Times — Older Americans who want to help solve the nation’s social problems will soon have even more opportunities to do so. Last month, Congress passed legislation that expands national and community service programs and includes provisions to attract adults over 55 to paid and volunteer jobs. President Obama, a former community organizer himself, is expected to sign the bill.
OAK BROOK, Ill., April 1, 2009 — In support of National Volunteer Month, Ronald McDonald House Charities(R) (RMHC(R)) is encouraging people to give back to their communities through the Charity's "30 Ways in 30 Days" Campaign. Starting in April, people can visit rmhc.org to get daily inspiration on ways to give back, reminding them that by volunteering they give families one of the biggest gifts of all - more time together while their children are being treated for serious illnesses.
The move to expand the country’s national-service programs got a significant boost on Wednesday, when the House of Representatives adopted legislation to create an array of new volunteer projects and a Senate committee approved a similar measure.
Until November, Lisa Traina had a classic New York glamour job: organizing private parties in the Art Deco opulence of the Rainbow Room. Now she spends 10-hour shifts walking down gritty sidewalks trying to persuade homeless people to go to the Bowery Mission for food and shelter.