In addition to a strong voter turnout, high volunteerism is another key sign of an engaged community that believes individual actions can make a difference. Although the biggest benefit of people volunteering is the satisfaction of giving of yourself to make a difference in your community, research shows that volunteering also provides benefits to your health. A report from the Corporation for National and Community Service establishes a strong relationship between volunteering and health. Those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression in comparison to those who don’t volunteer. Our volunteer rates, measured by a three-year moving average, have been slow moving, but are currently on track to meet the 2020 goal. The 2014 data were updated by the source without further explanation. The 3-year moving average for 2014 was re-calculated using the revised 2014 annual rate. This indicator was previously reported as 21.8% but has been updated to 23.4%. With this revision, the progress for this indicator changed from Flat/Getting Worse to ON TRACK continuing the general upward trend seen since 2010. In addition, the 2015 annual rate was available for update. The 3-year moving average was calculated and is reported here.
Call to Action:
- Learn more about SA2020 partners, then give your time, talent, energy, or dollars to one (or more).
- If you are an employer, revisit your company’s volunteering policy and give employees time off to volunteer.
- Join your neighborhood association or homeowners’ association and participate in grassroots organized civic involvement.
- Attend one of the many and diverse sources of leadership training in the community. Start with this list:
- Apply to be on a nonprofit board of directors that speaks to your soul. Start with a great list of SA2020 Partners.
- Serve on a City board or commission.
- Serve on County board or commission.
Updated December 2016
Corporations are another important part of our cycle of community change. Visionworks, a leading national eye care provider, is based in downtown San Antonio and commits both time and resources to increasing Civic Engagement in our community. Visionworks understands the value of an engaged, aware workforce and to that end strongly supports Leadership San Antonio (LSA). Some of Visionworks’ own leadership were members of LSA classes, which provides a forum for leaders across San Antonio to come together and discuss the issues, challenges, and problems facing our community—and then assume leadership roles to try to solve them. In addition to encouraging employees to participate in programs like this, Visionworks also promotes service and philanthropy within the company. In 2016, Visionworks served SA2020 Partners Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, SAMMinistries, and San Antonio Food Bank. An impressive 75% of employees participated in the company’s volunteer program in 2016. We’re so glad to have a successful company like Visionworks helping to cultivate inspired and effective leaders in San Antonio.