According to a recent study by U.S. Bank, volunteerism around the nation has decreased by a shocking 50 percent. The data finds that since the beginning of this year, only 31 percent of Americans have participated in volunteer efforts.
These findings were also able to decipher why people don’t volunteer: 42 percent of people said they didn’t because they don’t want to do it alone, while 39 percent of people said they don’t know how to get involved.
In order to inspire volunteers across America to get involved in rebuilding and revitalizing their communities, U.S. Bank has announced the launch of their Community Possible Relay, or “Race to 153k”. Visiting 38 communities across 25 states, the three month relay will cover 12,000 miles and include volunteer activities that focus on work, home, and play.
Click here to listen to KMZU’s Elizabeth Orosco talk with Reba Dominski:
[sc_embed_player =”true” fileurl=”http://s3.amazonaws.com/kmzu-audio/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/06211619/Reba-Dominski-060616-WA.mp3″]
Reba Dominski, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at U.S. Bank and president of the U.S. Bank Foundation, says the findings from this study really got the company thinking about what they could do to increase volunteerism.
“Earlier this year, we announced a new corporate giving and engagement platform called ‘Community Possible’, and there are three central themes: work, home, and play,” said Dominski. “What made this country great is what will continue to make this country great; having a stable job, a home to call your own, and communities that are connected through arts, recreation, and play.”
Dominski said they wanted to launch “Community Possible” in a memorable way, and thought of the idea for the volunteer relay, something she says U.S. Bank has never done before. As a symbol for the relay, the “Mobile Baton”, an Executive Coach Bus wrapped in U .S. Bank blue, will travel to all of the stops on the relay, as a “passing of the baton” tradition that comes with relay races.
The relay began at the beginning of May in Orange County, California at the O.C. Marathon, and has since visited about 13 cities around the state, including Las Vegas, Sacramento, Phoenix, Denver, and many more.
“We’ll be visiting 38 communities, completing service projects around work readiness, job training, financial education, home building and rehabilitation, as well as making there is access to the arts for under-served communities,” said Dominski.
Dominski went on to say that the goal of the relay is to involve 153,000 volunteers nationwide, which represents 1,000 people for each year of U.S. Bank’s history.
The “Mobile Baton” will be making its way to the Kansas City area June 18 and 19. To see information about the relay, such as where it’s been and where it’s going next, you can visit Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and search the handle #communitypossible.
“We want [people] to volunteer or serve in a way that matters to them and share their story on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with that hashtag, #communitypossible,” said Dominski.
For those looking for a way to get engaged, there are other resources. U.S. Bank uses Volunteer Match.org, in which you type in a cause that’s important to you within your zip code, and receive a list of several volunteer opportunities. Another way to get involved is to visit the United Way website to find other volunteer efforts.
“We encourage [listeners] to be part of this call to engage 153,000 volunteers nationwide,” Dominski said. “We want to make a difference in communities across the country.”