Monday, January 19, 2009

AARP Survey: 70 Percent of Americans Believe the Country Has Not Lived up to Kennedy's Inaugural Request

RJ Note: Many Americans volunteer their time and money through many great causes. Fayette County citizens have such a big heart when it comes to serving others that I can't begin to mention them all. Just know each and every one of you is appreciated.

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Seven in 10 Americans do not believe the country has lived up to President John F. Kennedy's inaugural challenge to "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country," according to a survey released today by AARP Create The Good.

The problem might be the way they are being asked: though 73 percent of respondents said they would choose to give time over money, they reported that requests for monetary donations had increased more than requests for time in the last year.

The poll comes as President-elect Barack Obama calls on Americans to renew their commitment to community service and as the nation celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

"The results tell us something very promising: that Americans are ready to answer the call to serve," said Tom Nelson, AARP's chief operations officer. "Across the nation, Americans of all ages gave back today in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King. But this is not just a one-day activity - rather, it is a commitment to make making a difference part of our lives."

To help Americans answer the call to serve, today AARP launched its new Create The Good Web site (www.AARP.org/CreateTheGood), where thousands are already connecting to flexible opportunities, tools and online communities, and making a difference across the country.

"We believe that small actions yield big results," said Nelson. "Whether you have five minutes or five hours a week, there are simple things you can do to help."

Although survey respondents felt that requests for monetary donations (34%) have increased more compared to requests for volunteer time (11%), when asked what they would choose to give to solve a national problem, they overwhelmingly selected time (73%) over money (16%). Younger respondents were more likely to say they would prefer to give time compared to older respondents.

Though respondents overwhelmingly thought older people volunteer more (71%) than younger people (15%), there was no statistically significant difference between the proportion of younger and older respondents who said they had volunteered in the last year.

More than half of respondents (52%) rate volunteering to help others as an important goal and almost seven in ten respondents (68%) said that they have volunteered in the last year.

The survey was conducted via telephone by ICR from among a nationally representative sample of 1,011 adults age 18 or older. The margin of error for total respondents is +/-3.08% at the 95% confidence level. Full survey results are available at: http://www.aarp.org/research/family/volunteering/volunteering_perceptions_09.h tml.

Visit Create The Good today at www.AARP.org/CreateTheGood to get connected to tools, people and hundreds of ways to make a difference.

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