Volunteering in Your Community


Every year in the United States, millions of people donate their time, effort, and money to help make their communities and their country a better place to live.

Key Terms community, bureaucracy, welfare, volunteerism

Reading Strategy Organizing Information

As you read, complete a graphic organizer like the one below In which you list ways that people volunteer.

Wciys People Volunteer

Read to Learn

♦ Why does our country need people to volunteer?

• What are the various ways In which people volunteer?

Wciys People Volunteer

The Need for HonoHrin2Craz"


Citizens' Involvement

Why did Korczak Ziolkowski do so much work and not accept paymcnc? He was a volunteer. Another volunteer, John Gatus, a retired steam fitter, who volunteers in an ant ¡gang neighborhood patrol, tries to explain: "Volunteer work brings real change, change you can be a part of, change you can see with your own eyes. You don't need politicians or police to tell you things are better. You can see it and feel it for yourself and know you were a part of it. . . . There's a real pride involved. We're part of a community."'

Every year more than half of all Americans do volunteer work to help make their communities better places to live. (A community is a group of people who share the same interests and concerns.) These volunteers include more than 14 million students in grades 6 through 12. Without the efforts of so many private citizens, many pressing social needs simply would not be met.

In the United States, its you read in Chapter I5 governments provide a wealth of services. We rely on government for everything from local police protection to national defense,

Chapter 5 The Citizen and the Community 125

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in Action

Without Korczak Ziolkowski, there would be no Crazy Horse Memorial. Ziolkowski, born of Polish descent in Boston, became famous as a mountain carver, but It Is bis life and dedication that have Inspired the people who learn about him. Ziolkowski assisted Gutzon Borglum at Mount Rush more and then dedicated the rest of his life to sculpting the Crazy Horse Memorial. Crazy Horse was a Native American leader who bravely defended his people and tbelr way of life. Ziolkowski carved Crazy Horse as a memorial to the leaders spirit. Ziolkowski worked on the memorial—the worlds largest sculpture—for 36 years, until his death in 1982. refusing to be paid for his work. Ziolkowski's wife and family continue his work on the Crazy Horse Memorial.


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Analyzing Visuals Democracy is often depicted as a chorus of voices—sometimes singing in harmony, other times singing clashing melodies that reflect citizens' contrasting demands. What "song" are the figures In this cartoon singing? How could volunteerism balance this image?

from collecting household trash to ensuring clean water and air nationwide. Citizens, though, also share responsibility for meeting community needs.

The government, after all, has limited resources. In addition, governments are burcaucracics—complex systems with many departments, many rules, and many people in the chain of command. Because of this, government cannot always respond quickly or efficiently to social problems. In many cases, the best solutions come from private citizens. Good citizens are concerned about the welfare—-the health, prosperity, and happiness of all members of the community.

In 1961 President John 1\ Kennedy issued his famous challenge, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." In 2001 President George W. Bush called for a renewed commitment to community service. He noted that we can show "the world the true values of America through the gathering momentum of a million acts of responsibility and decency and service."

Donating Time and Money

People contribute to their communities in countless ways, working independently or as part of volunteer groups both large and small. You probably know a mom or dad who is active in the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) or leads a Scout troop. Neighbors might spend a Saturday afternoon cleaning up a vacant lot or preparing holiday baskets for needy families. Retirees mentor schoolchildren, record books on audiotapes and CD-ROMs for the blind, and lead museum tours. You or your fellow .students might visit nursing home patients, volunteer in an animal shelter, or collect canned goods for a local food pantry.

Contributing your time to work on community projects is the heart of volunteerism the practice of offering your time and services to others without payment. However, Americans may also support worthy causes by contributing money. In 2000, individual Americans gave more than $152 billion to charity. Much of this money came from small donations by average citizens. The typical American donates about 2 percent of his or her income to charity.

Many companies, too, believe in giving something back to the community. Small businesses may sponsor a recreational sports team or donate prizes for a charity's fund-raiser. Large companies often contribute thousands of dollars to community projects, like building a new public swimming pool or putting on a free concert. They frequently match the charitable donations of their employees, chipping in a dollar of corporate funds for every dollar that a worker gives to charity.

Many companies make a special commitment to investing in young people.They may offer college scholarships to students or give their employees time off to volunteer in die schools.

i(H3HBSBBB& Inferring Why is volunteerism so important?

Volunteers in Action

Community involvement tends to be rooted in individual action and informal groups. People are more likely to participate when they feel a personal connection to a cause or know others involved. Thus they join their Neighborhood Watch or become active at their child's school. They reach out to che community through dicir religious congregations or service clubs like the Lions and Kiwanis. Some people, however, volunteer through more formal channels.

Charitable Organizations

More than one million charities are officially registered with die federal government. Many are small and locally based. They often work on one or two projects, such as helping the victims of domestic abuse or preserving historic landmarks.

Other organizations, such as the United Way, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and Rig Brothers Rig Sisters, are large, national bodies wich varied activities serving millions of people.

All of these groups depend on ordinary people who give their time freely. Most, however, also have some paid staff who help set organizational goals, manage the budget, and oversee operations.

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Justin Dart, Jr. (1930-2002)

Justin DarL, Jr.. had a message to deliver: "People with disabilities are fully equal.' To spread that message, he tra\^ eled lo all 50 slales aL least four times and to nations around the world. Stricken with polio at age 18, Dart used a whoolchair and knew person ally the hurdles people with disabilities must overcome. He worked to tear down these hurdles by launching., along with his wife Yoshiko Saji Dart, the disability rights movement.

Dart advised governors, presidents, and the U.S. Congress on the subject of disabilities. However, he relied on grassroots support the support of ordinary people to bring about change. *Get into politics as if your life depended on 1L," lie Lold one audience.

In 1990 Dart's grassroots army won pas sage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. In 1998 Darl received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award. As the 2000s opened. DarL wan Led lo carry Lhe disability rights movement worldwide. He died in 2002.

School-Based Programs

Across the country, more Chan half of all schools now arrange community service for students in grades 6 through 12. Several hundred school districts even require it. In Atlanta, Chicago, and the entire state of Maryland, for example, high school students must volunteer a set number of hours to earn a diploma.

Some people believe that community service is less meaningful when it is obligatory. According to one school official in Atlanta, however, the "students think it's a neat idea, and for many of them it is nothing new." Many have already been active volunteers in the community.

National Service Programs

Over the years, the federal government has created various national programs to encourage volunteer ism. In 1961, for example, die Peace Corps was launched to help people in the poorest corners of the world. The Peace Corps has sent tens of thousands of Americans to 135 countries, where they advise farmers, teach children, dig wells, help start small businesses, and fight the spread of AIDS and otiier serious diseases. Here in the United States, the government provides community service opportunities through AmeriCorps and the Senior Corps.

More than 50,000 Americans participate each year in AmeriCorps. Most work through local and national organizations to meet community needs. Under the guidance of the American Red Cross, for example, volunteers help victims of floods, fires, earthquakes, and other disasters. Working with other groups, they might clean up polluted rivers, immunize children, or assist people with disabilities. In return for a year of full-time service, AmeriCorps volunteers receive an allowance to live on and money to help pay for college.

The Senior Corps provides volunteer opportunities to Americans aged 55 or older. These senior citizens take part in diree main programs. Foster Grandparents work one on one with children with special needs. Senior Companions help other seniors meet their daily needs while living in their own homes. The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program

Working Together in Emergencies Workers formed a human chain to transport supplies to boats, which carried them to Manhattan to help recovery efforts at the World Trade Center in 2001. Why do you think the government encourages volunteerism?

President Bush proposes the Freedom Corps.

Working Together in Emergencies Workers formed a human chain to transport supplies to boats, which carried them to Manhattan to help recovery efforts at the World Trade Center in 2001. Why do you think the government encourages volunteerism?

President Bush proposes the Freedom Corps.

American Volunteers in Action r


70 67-3

VALUE OF U.S. VOLUNTEERS, 1987-2001 (Total Value of Volunteer Time)

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AGE GROUP {in years)

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1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1998 2001 YEARS

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© Homeless shelters

© Hospices and hospitals

© Special Olympics

© Habitat for HumaniLy

© Slate and local parks

© Schools or after-school programs

© Libraries

© Senior citizen centers

© Animal shelters

© Environmental organizations

© Political campaigns

© Red Cross and Salvation Army

© Local charities and organizations

© Your school or community government

© Prepare and distribute meals © Holp organi70 a food drive 0 Talk with families and kids © Help raise funds or lead activities © Help build a house © Clean up trails or pick up trash © Assist with recreational activities © Tutor a child or new immigrant

© Read to children or res helve books

© Deliver meals to homebound seniors

© Take caro of animals

© Lead hikes or lobby for a cause

© Lend a hand al Lhe campaign office or join a letter writing campaign

© Help out in an emergency

© Create a Web siLe

© Hold an elective office, attend a city council or school board meeting or public hearing and voice your opinion

©To help others

©To learn something new about an activity or organization

©To meet people and make friends

©To heat horedorn

©To better deal with a loss you have experienced (such as Lhe death of a loved one)

©To learn something new about life

©To explore careers

Analyzing Graphs

There are many volunteering opportunities in your local community. All volunteers are valuable resources to their communities. Which age group of Americans has the highest percentage of people volunteering?

Student Web Activity Visit and click on Student Web Activities-Chapter S Lo learn more sbout volunteering opportunities.

(RSVP) links volunteers to service opportunities right in their backyards. For example, they might deliver hot meals

Wheels, help plant and tend a neighborhood garden, or teach linglish to immigrants.

On January 29, 2002, in his annual State of the Union Address, President Bush asked Americans to join together and help, saying, "If you aren't sure how to help, I've got a good place to start." Bush went on to describe a new program, called USA Freedom Corps. The program brought together the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Senior Corps. 13ush added another component called "Citizen Corps." He stated that the purpose of Freedom Corps was a focus on three "areas of need: responding in case of crisis at home, rebuilding our communities, and extending American compassion throughout the world." Bush appealed to Americans to serve their neighbors and their nation.

The Benefits of Volunteering

The United States has always been a nation of volunteers. When Alexis de Tocqueville* a French political writer, visited America in the 1830s, he was amazed to see citizens pitching in to solve community problems rather than relying on the government. He explained it as "self-interest rightly understood." In other words, by banding together to serve the community, we also serve ourselves.

By volunteering we make our communities better places to live and gain new opportunities to learn, make friends, and improve our teamworks leadership, and problem-solving skills. It is satisfying to know that you can make a difference in someone else's life.

./j^lB^I Inferring How does volunteering serve self-interests?



Checking for Understanding

1. Key Terms Define bureaucracy, community, and welfare and use them in sentences related to volunteerism.

Reviewing Main Ideas

2. Expfarn Why docs our govern rnenL need people Lo volunLeer in their communities?

3. Identify Whet program was launched in the early 1960s to c ss is I people in Lhe pooresL parts of the world? What types of activities do volunteers with this organ ¡¿a Lion perform? How do these activities help people in other countries?

Critical TiiInking

4. Making Judgments Do you Lhink that community service projects should be required of all stu denls? Explcin.

5. Summarizing Information In a oh art like the one below, give examples ot the following types of volunLeerism.

Types of VnlunlHtirism


Chsritablc Organizations

School-Bnsed Programs

National Service Projirrjma

6. Review Examine Lhe charL LhaL lists reasons to volunteer on page 129. then answer this question; Why is volunLeering a worthwhile activity?


7. Research Contsct s local volunteer organization thst has heen rnenLioned in Lhis chapter. Find out what projects or problems they ere working on in your com rnuniLy and how Lhey use volunteers. Report your findings to the cIrss.

130 Chapter 5 The Citizen and the Community m+uumi+i p-

Reading a Diagram

Why Learn Ttiis Skill?

What is the best way to show a complicated idea? Sometimes the answer is a diagram. A diagram is a drawing with labels and symbols. Developing the skill of reading a diagram can help you acquire a great deal of information quickly. Reading a written description of the same information could take much longer. The visual images offered in the diagram also make the information easier to remember.


CiLizen decides Lo recycle.

Items pickcd up-for recycling plan

Processors make new products.

Items pickcd up-for recycling plan

Recycling planl sorts recyclable items.

Recycling planl sorts recyclable items.

Learning the Skill

There are certain steps to follow as you interpret a diagram.

♦ Read the title. The title describes the information found in the diagram. A diagram may also contain a key that shows what the symbols and colors on the diagram represent.

♦ Read all the labels on the diagram carefully to clearly determine their meanings.

♦ If there is a legend, identify symbols and colors used in the diagram.

♦ Look for numbers indicating a sequence of steps or arrows showing movement.

♦ Define how the diagram is organized. What types of divisions are shown? How are processes or events described? How do the separate parts of the diagram relate to one another?

♦ Summarize the information found in the diagram in one or two sentences.

Practicing the Skill

Answer the following questions using the diagram on this page.

Q What concept does this diagram present?

© How many steps are involved?

© What is the individual's role in the recycling process?

O Write a sentence summarizing information shown in the diagram.

Applying the Skill.

Create a diagram showing how you bake a cake or wash a car. T.abel your diagram clcarlv.

Pfciclicf? key skills v/ilh GI«ncop's Skillbuilder Interactive Workbook CD-ROM, Level 1.

Pfciclicf? key skills v/ilh GI«ncop's Skillbuilder Interactive Workbook CD-ROM, Level 1.


Chapter 5 The Citizen and the Community 131

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Assessment & Activities

Review to Learn

Section 1

• The legal duties of Americans include obeying laws, paying taxes, defending the nation, serving in court, and attending school.

• To help the nation flourish, Americans should be informed, vote, respect the rights of others, and contribute to the common good.

Section 2

• Our government provides many services: however, its resources are limited. Therefore our nation needs people to volunteer so that communities can meet the needs of the people.

• People volunteer by donating their time and money. Volunteers may work through charitable organizations, school-based programs, or national service programs.


Using Your Foldables Study Organizer

Use your completed foldable to explain the interdependence, or the relationship, that exists between a citizen and his or her community. Your explanation may take the form of an essay or a brief oral presentation.

Reviewing Key Terms

Choose the term from the chapter that best matches each clue below.

1. complex systems with many departments, many rules, and many people in the chain of command

2. the requirement of registering with the government for military service

3. the obligations that we fulfill voluntarily

4. the things we are legally required to do

5. the health, happiness, and prosperity of a community

6. respecting and accepting others regardless of their beliefs, practices, or differences

7. offering your time and services to others without payment

8. a group of people who share the same interests and concerns

9. this program combined the AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and Senior Corps

Reviewing Main Ideas

10. What types of projects do charitable organizations usually perform?

11. Name three duties of U.S. citizens.

12. Why do people have a responsibility to respect the rights of others?

13. Why is it important for U.S. citizens to be informed?

14. Name three services provided by the government.

15. What are two ways people can volunteer to help their community?

1G. To what "areas of need,r does the Freedom Corps hope to respond?

17. Give at least two examples of useful services provided by volunteer groups and organizations in a community.

18. How has the U.S. government encouraged volunteerism?

Critical Thinking

19. Evaluating Information Why are citizens' responsibilities to their communities such an important part of our democratic system?

20. Classifying Information Complete a chart similar to the one below by listing examples under each category.

Government Scrvicc

Legal Duly

Voluntary Action

Reading a Diagram Examine the diagram on page 131. Using your own words, outline the steps involved in th© recycling process. Th©n answer the following questions.

21. What do the arrows in the diagram represent?

22. How could you show the information in a different way?


Self-Check Quiz Visit the Civics Today Web site at oiv.glencoe.com and click on Self-Check Quizzes-Chapter 5 lo prepare for Lhe chapLer LesL.


25. Form groups of four. Then choose an election in your community. Find out how you could volunteer for one of the candidates in the election. Interview a current campaign volunteer to see why he or she is working for this person or issue and how he or she is involved in the election process. Summarize your findings in a brief report.

Technology Activity

26. Use the Internet to find the names and addresses of local not-for-profit agencies that need volunteers. E-mail or send a letter to one of these agencies to ask about their volunteer needs. Ask what volunteers do and whether they are currently needed. Share your findings with the class.

Economics Activity

23. Most cities and towns have a chamber of commerce or business association that promotes the welfare of its members and the community. A typical chamber may sponsor everything from tourist centers to cleanup campaigns to support of favorable business laws. Contact your local chamber—or a chamber in a nearby city—to learn about some of its activities. Summarize its activities in a brief report or chart.

Analyzing Visuals

24. Examine the line graph on page 129. About how much money was volunteer time worth in the United States in 1993? How has the value of volunteer time changed since 1987?

Standardized TestPractice

Directions: Choose the Aest answer to th© following question.

Which of the following is a legal duty of citizenship? A register and vote B hold elective office C keep informed about issues D obey laws

Test-Taking Tip

To answer this question correctly, you must determine the difference between a civic duty and a responsibility. Which is required?

Chapter 5 The Citizen and the Community 133

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