Several volunteer organizations are reporting increases in the number of college graduates they place, as a response to "the tight job market or simply from a desire to do some good."
The Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, which places volunteers in rural and urban areas in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, accepted 101 volunteers at the start of the 2009-10 service term, a 40 percent increase from the previous year.
Teach for America and the Peace Corps also have tracked big surges in volunteer numbers since the nation's economic downturn began in the fall of 2008 -- about 40 percent for Teach for America and 16 percent for the Peace Corps. via catholicnews.com
The directior of Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, Jeanne Haster, credits the President's call for involvement in community service and the signing of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in April, which increases the number of spots in the AmeriCorps service program.
"This bill will dramatically increase the amount of support for service opportunities throughout the United States, enabling more Americans to volunteer during a time when so many in our country are in need," said Jim Lindsay, executive director of the Maryland-based Catholic Network of Volunteer Service.
The network, with more than 200 member-programs, hosts an online directory of full-time service opportunities. Those logging on to search the opportunities have increased by 32 percent from a year ago. In a recent poll of network members, two thirds reported a "significant" increase in applications from previous years, he told the Catholic Sentinel, Portland's archdiocesan newspaper. via Catholicnews.com
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