If you choose to believe the results of a recent national survey then that is what you'd find. Our state, Louisiana, is a the bottom of the list when it comes to volunteering. The survey done by Wallet Hub and the Corporation for National and Community Service suggested that only two out of every ten people freely give of their time to make the world a better place. I would disagree.

I don't think I run in a particularly altruistic crowd but I do know I see neighbors helping neighbors almost every day. I was very glad to see that our in state numbers, as reported by Volunteer Louisiana completely disagreed with the national assessment.

In these national surveys, they’re showing us anywhere from about 17%-20%. Our own statewide study shows a rate over 40%.

That's what Judd Jeansonne told the Louisiana Radio Network. Judd is Executive Director for Volunteer Louisiana.

So why the large discrepancy in numbers? Judd says it's pretty easy to explain. The national surveys do not take into account faith based volunteering.

But really most of the volunteering that takes place in Louisiana, particularly in our rural parishes, takes place within the context of a church. So in our statewide study we actually include those prompts.

I guess we are one of the few places in the nation where kindness and spirituality can work together for the good of all. Most of the people I know do the bulk of their volunteering and give of their free time through their house of worship. I guess doing things for the betterment of all with blessing of the Almighty doesn't register in these national surveys.

People see neighbor helping neighbor. We’re a state that is susceptible to disaster, that brings out the best in people and a culture of neighbor helping neighbor so yeah we should be offended by that because it’s not who we are.

I am offended, but I will get over it because you and I, we have work to do. If the national folks can't understand our way of life and spirit of giving, that's okay. Maybe they should come visit and walk among us instead of reading figures off a spreadsheet. I find getting to know people and understanding how you can help is a lot better way to make my community a better place. Wouldn't you agree?


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