BATON ROUGE - More than 707,000 Louisiana citizens volunteered during 2009, serving 103.5 million hours and providing an economic impact to the state of nearly $2.1 billion. This is an increase from the previous year of 43,300 volunteers.
The statistics were released today in a comprehensive annual study by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) entitled, "Volunteering in America."
The report also reveals an increase in the state's volunteer rate to 21 percent, up from 20.3 percent last year, moving Louisiana up one state in the national rankings to 47th. The national average is 26.8 percent. The average number of hours per Louisiana volunteer also increased from 30.7 percent from 21 percent in 2008.
Baton Rouge led the state's largest cities with a 24.1 percent volunteer rate, followed closely by New Orleans at 23.8 percent. Other reported volunteer rates were Shreveport, 23.4 percent; Lafayette, 22.8 percent; and Monroe, 16.7 percent.
"People in Louisiana are passionate about a lot of things, our food, our faith, our Saints, and most of all our culture and way of life. I am not surprised but I am humbled to learn of the increase in Louisiana volunteers. Louisianans' are resilient and we continue to show the rest of America how lending a helping hand to our neighbors during a time of need is what we know best," said Lt. Governor Scott Angelle.
More than 24,000 people of all ages and backgrounds in Louisiana are helping to meet local needs and strengthen communities through an ongoing commitment to serve in one of 186 national service projects across the state.
"Serving through AmeriCorps, Learn & Serve America, and Senior Corps, our citizens tutor and mentor children, coordinate after-school programs, build homes, conduct neighborhood patrols, restore the environment, respond to disasters, build nonprofit capacity and recruit and manage volunteers," said Janet Pace, Executive Director of the Louisiana Serve Commission.