Increase in volunteering needed

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Liberal university students often pride themselves on their engagement and knowledge on local, national and global social issues.

Similarly, people often look to give their financial, emotional and personal support to international causes as it can sometimes feel that those in developing countries need our help more.

The unfortunate result however, is a serious drop in volunteering in our very own community. The 2012 Vital Signs report for Waterloo Region reveals a significant drop in volunteerism. This decline has been gradually decreasing over the past five years.

Only 42 per cent of people were volunteering their time, creating a 5.3 per cent drop and there were over 8,000 fewer volunteers compared to the previous period of study at the time of the report’s release.

What is perplexing about this rash drop in volunteer numbers is not just with the dramatic shift in which they declined. The study revealed that the Waterloo Region is well below the provincial and national rates for volunteering.

Our region is greatly impacted by the 40,000 students who call Waterloo home during their post-secondary education. While Laurier views itself as a university with charitable causes, it is evident from this study that we are not doing nearly as much as we can.

Volunteering your time is not necessarily just working at a soup kitchen, but can include helping out children’s activities, cultural festivals or organizing community events.

As students, it is not just our academic record that will impact us later on, but a demonstration that we value experiences outside the classroom that truly help others.

Since we are a vital part of this community it is important that we set an example as future citizens and don’t become another statistic.

–The Cord Editorial Board

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