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Young people resolve to volunteer more next year: Survey
20 December 2004

Atlanta: There's hope for our kids! The results of a national survey released today -- just weeks before the New Year begins -- show teens feel strongly about volunteerism and giving back to their communities.

In fact, 75 percent of youth who participated in the "Taco Bell/Boys & Girls Clubs of America New Years Resolution Survey" responded that they intend to volunteer more in 2005 and that they would be more inclined (75 per cent) to shop at a retailer they knew gave back to the community.

Respondents said that if they had US$10,000 to give away for a worthy cause, they would donate the money to homeless shelters (26 per cent), disease research (18 per cent) or teen programs (15 per cent).

At this season it is traditional to make New Year's Resolutions, focusing on what we would change or focus on in the New Year. From weight loss to spending more time with family, traditionally New Year's resolutions focus on what "I" will be doing for "myself" in the New Year. Most are broken by February.

A New Year's resolution with a twist

But, in a twist on the New Year's resolution tradition, thousands of teens around the nation have resolved to focus their efforts on helping others rather than just themselves in 2005. These teens, members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, have resolved to make a real difference in their communities in 2005, by increasing their community volunteerism and participating in more service projects.

Survey highlights include:

  • If they had $10,000 to give away, teens would give it to homeless shelters (26 per cent), disease research (18 per cent), teen programs (15 per cent) or food programs for the needy (14 per cent)
  • Seventy-five per cent of teens say they would be more inclined to shop at a retailer they knew gave back to the community
  • Almost 60 per cent of teens say they would take a job with a non-profit organization, knowing they'd be making less money than at a "for profit"
  • 34 per cent of teens volunteer to help people, while only 15 per cent volunteer because they say it looks good on college applications
  • Most teens said they think restaurants and grocery stores give back the most (51per cent)

Other survey results:

  • 64 per cent said teens don't volunteer enough
  • 56 per cent think their parents don't volunteer enough
  • 60 per cent of teens said they learn about volunteering from school or parents

"It is reassuring to see that our teens -- our nation's next generation of leaders -- are committed to volunteerism and service," said Roxanne Spillett, president, BGCA.

The teens were surveyed this month on issues relating to service and volunteerism. The survey includes insights from more than 3,000 teen members nationwide. Boys & Girls Clubs of America's teen program focuses on helping teens develop character and leadership skills and become adults who are contributing, productive members of society. Taco Bell is the key sponsor behind BGCA's teen initiative.