Spirit of volunteerism runs deep in America's mind-set

Many Americans embrace what might be called the volunteer ethic. A new report by the Corporation for National and Community Service shows that 61.2 million people, or 26.7 percent of the US population, volunteered their time in some way in 2006, pitching in to help their fellow citizens in a wide range of activities and organizations. Although voluntary service dipped slightly last year over the year before, it remains significantly higher than it was before people responded to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and to hurricane Katrina. Many teenagers especially, says corporation chief David Eisner, "came of age" in recent years, learning new habits of responsibility that have stuck. The states with the highest percentages of volunteerism, based on a three-year average:

1. Utah 45.9 %
2. Nebraska 42.4%
3. Minnesota 40.4%
4. Alaska 38.8%
5. Kansas 38.3%
6. Iowa 38.0%
7. Montana 37.7 %
8. Wyoming 37.3%
9. South Dakota (tie) Vermont 37.2%

- Associated Press

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