Problem Solvers tackle declining volunteering rates

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By Dasol Lee, CmPS member

Canton High School’s 10th grade Community Problem Solving (CmPS) team is very excited to launch its project for the 2015 year.

Team CSI: (l-r) Sean Hanscom, Dasol Lee, Forest Schmid, Christine Lee and Meryl Prendergast

Team CSI: (l-r) Sean Hanscom, Dasol Lee, Forest Schmid, Christine Lee and Meryl Prendergast

This year’s team has named itself CSI, which stands for Community Service Inc. With its motto of “Every Hour Counts,” the team aims to educate the Canton community on the importance of volunteering.

Community Problem Solving is an international program that encourages children and teens to give back by helping their communities deal with prominent issues. Canton’s 10th grade team chose to focus on volunteering because America has been facing a serious decline in volunteering rates.

“I think that it’s really important to show how much community service affects a community,” explained Christine Lee, a CHS sophomore and Team CSI member.

“It’s as though people are willing to give money but not their time,” added teammate Meryl Prendergast. “The statistics show it all.”

Prendergast appears to be right. According to a blog post by Daniel Luzer on the Washington Monthly website, the percentage of college students who volunteer declined from 31.2 percent in 2004 to 26.1 percent in 2010. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Americans spent an average of 50 hours volunteering from September 2012 to September 2013 — less than an hour per week.

“We noticed in our own town that there are a lot of volunteering opportunities for everyone, but we usually see the same group of people volunteering for each program,” said team member Sean Hanscom. “We are required to have community service hours to graduate, and it always seems like students at the end of the year are trying to fill their hours while others have triple the amount needed.”

“It may seem as though a lot of people are volunteering, but there are still hundreds of organizations — including many in Canton — that need your help,” said Forest Schmid, another CmPS member. “We’re going to try to teach people that, but it all starts with you.”

Team CSI is hoping to get the town of Canton to pledge to complete 1,000,000 hours of community service for 2015. Please join Canton’s Problem Solvers in making this one of your New Year’s resolutions. A few hours of your time can change someone’s life forever.

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avatar Posted by on Jan 8 2015. Filed under News, Schools. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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