Did You Know…? Fun Facts About Volunteering That Will Blow Your Mind!

by Sonya Friesen

How likely are you to volunteer? Was volunteering engrained in you from a young age? Does where you live play a factor in whether you’ll volunteer or not? A 2010 study by Statistics Canada revealed some surprising facts about volunteering – along with the answer to all these questions! These volunteering facts will blow your mind!

1. Racing to athletics: Sports and Recreation bring in the highest amount of volunteer support!

Do you have a love for the great game of hockey? Football? Rugby? Dance? Well, according to Statistics Canada, so does everybody else! Studies showed that sports and recreation received 19 per cent of volunteer support, followed by social services at 18 per cent. That’s what we call a hole-in-one!

2. There’s definitely no “I” in team: those who participated in a team sport are found more likely to volunteer!

It is widely known that being on a sports team teaches kids and students valuable life lessons, including the value of teamwork and working as a unit as oppose to an individual. Whether you played on a hockey team, football team, or danced, of those who spent their days in an activity-based extracurricular, 53 per cent volunteered compared to 40 per cent of those who were not.

3. Hats off to Top Volunteers: “Top Volunteers” make up 161 hours, EACH!

A Top Volunteer is basically the Sydney Crosby of volunteering. Before the survey was taken, each Top volunteer had completed over 161 hours of volunteering in the 12 months prior. That equals out to three hours of volunteering every single week. Top volunteers make up 12 per cent of Canada’s total volunteers. Basically, the superstars of the volunteering world! Looking to meet some top volunteers? Check out Volunteer Ottawa’s VOscar awards ceremony this September 2014, which will recognize some of Ottawa’s top volunteers. You can nominate a deserving volunteer today – http://volunteerottawa.ca/index.php/voscars-2014/submit-a-nomination-today

4. Waiting to walk down the aisle? Single, unmarried Canadians are the most likely group to volunteer!

The study showed that single Canadians who had never been previously married were the most likely group to volunteer. There could be many reasons for this; volunteering is a great way to meet people (perhaps even the “one”), and it also offers you a way to keep busy and productive.

5. A+ for volunteering: University graduates are more likely to volunteer then high school graduates.

When surveyed, 58 per cent of university graduates had participated in a volunteering activity versus 43 per cent of high school graduates and only 37 per cent of those who don’t have a high school diploma. Likely accredited to the high support volunteerism receives from professors, councilors and program coordinators, it’s nearly impossible to leave university without volunteering at some point.

6. Fields, farms and…volunteers? Saskatchewan has the highest rate of volunteers in Canada.

Travelling out to the prairies? Stats Canada says you have a better chance of meeting a volunteer in Saskatchewan than anywhere else in Canada! According to the survey, 58 per cent of adults 15 and over spend time volunteering.

7. Neighbourly love: Volunteering is higher in rural areas then urban areas

It seems like nothing beats a tight knit community. Stats Canada shows that volunteering is higher in rural townships then urban areas. We guess the city-life isn’t for everyone!

 8. Sparks proven to spark the volunteering flame: Those who were involved in girl guides, choir and scouts found more likely to volunteer.

Remember this, “I promise to share and be a friend” – the Sparks mantra that every young girl probably quoted close to a hundred times as they grew up. Well, it turns out these mantras really do stick. Statistics Canada found that the more involved in the community you were growing up, the more likely you were to involve yourself in volunteering later in life. How much more likely? Well, 53 per cent of those who had participated in an organized youth group volunteered versus only 40 per cent of those who weren’t.

Looking to learn more? You can find even more fun facts and information by checking out the Statistic Canada article itself. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/2012001/article/11638-eng.htm#a17

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