It’s a messy, cold, and snowy day across much of the U.S. — but in the Boston Globe, there’s an article by Linda Matchan that will warm you right up. (Your heart, at least.)
Headlined “Volunteering spirit catches fire,” Matchan’s piece finds that “there’s increasing evidence that commitment to community service is becoming much more ordinary to today’s young adults”:
“Young adults are doing more service and volunteerism than in any point in history,’’ said Scott Seider, an assistant professor of education at Boston University who studies the civic development of young adults.
Applications for community service opportunities are soaring, especially in Boston, where college students abound and the number of service opportunities in colleges is “head-spinning,’’ said John Gomperts, director of AmeriCorps, a national network of hundreds of service programs.
Today, February 1st, is the application deadline for many of our U.S. Schweitzer Fellows Programs — which support about 250 graduate students each year in creating and carrying out yearlong, mentored 200-hour direct service projects that address the social determinants of health. It’s a model that has been found to both decrease health professional students’ perceived barriers to future service, and provide significant benefit to community agencies and their clientele.
We’ll see if the uptick in applications holds true for us as well (we typically receive 600-650 a year for those 250 slots). But regardless, we’re filled with optimism and excitement that so many people are heeding Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s timeless exhortation: “Search and see if there is not some place where you may invest your humanity.”