• About the Project
1.2.2 Volunteer Activity, Boston and MA
Why is this important?

The breadth of volunteer activity within a community directly reflects its wealth of social capital and generosity.  Volunteering not only provides important and much needed services to organizations, but bridges individual volunteers to each other and the greater community.  Boston offers many and various opportunities for civic-minded people to volunteer their time to support nonprofit efforts.  Boston Cares - which recruits, trains and matches volunteers of all ages and backgrounds with needed services - is Boston’s largest volunteer organization and it is used here as a proxy measure.

How are we doing?

Bostonians logged more than 63,000 volunteer hours in 2010, down slightly from the peak in 2009 when volunteers logged more than 64,000 hours.  However, since the beginning of the last decade total hours logged have more than tripled from 18,000 in 2000.

During that time, volunteers also stepped up to leverage resources for Boston Cares partner agencies struggling to keep up with increased client needs, generating 30 tons of food for Greater Boston Food Bank and 3,900 pairs of children’s shoes for Room To Grow and Cradles to Crayons.

A sampler of Boston Cares volunteer accomplishments from 2011 includes: providing for the basic daily needs of 90,450 individuals, supporting 1,040 youth through academic tutoring and career coaching, and providing comfort and social stimulation for 400 independent seniors, children in transitional housing and special needs athletes, saving community arts and parks organizations $155,000 through projects that provided affordable access to cultural performances and recreational green spaces for thousands of neighborhood residents and visitors to the region, as well as improving learning, library, and recreational spaces used by almost 20,000 Boston Public School students.

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