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  • The first Farm Aid concert was organized by musicians Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp to raise money for family farmers in the U.S. There have been Farm Aid concerts nearly every year since 1985, and they have raised $40 million. One month after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, musician Paul McCartney organized The Concert for New York City to help survivors. The concert and related merchandise raised $30 million.
  • Sometimes in response to disaster – Haiti, Katrina –friends and families deciding to spend vacation time helping others. Sometimes what I might call ideologically-motivated “missions” – religious groups organizing youth/adults to go to a country less fortunate and offer humanitarian assistance tied in with religious views.. The idea of a ‘gap” year has become popular – taking a year off from school or work to travel, experience new cultures, learn languages, help others. There are lots of organizations that are set up to help people do this, depending in their area of interest (wildlife conservation, citizen journalism, medicine, orphanages, etc.)
  • When you show yourself to be a leader – organizing a group, rallying around a cause, etc., this is highly valued.
  • When both kids and adults have disobeyed a law – often not a very serious infraction – they are frequently sentenced to community service as part of their punishment. Depending on the state, this can either be very innovative: training dogs for the blind, for example, or far less so: cleaning up trash on the roadside.
  • Community engagement not bound by geography UN Online Volunteering has great programs – lots of research-oriented and publishing projects


  • 1. community involvement so many options! sarah ziebell information resource officer u.s. embassy moscow ziebellsj@state.gov @sarahjziebell
  • 2. formal volunteering• clubs• religious organizations• schools• service organizations• government initiatives – peace corps – americorps – teach for america
  • 3. informal volunteering• individual decision• could involve anything from bringing an elderly neighbor a hot meal to participating in a disaster response effort online
  • 4. community involvement – u.s.• about 63 million adults volunteer each year – 8.1 billion hours – $173 billion• new annual volunteer day: “giving tuesday” (tuesday after thanksgiving)• most popular states for volunteering – utah – iowa – minnesota – nebraska – south dakota
  • 5. making adifference
  • 6. volunteer vacations• disaster response (haiti, katrina)• “missions”• gap year
  • 7. community involvement mattersto u.s. universities and employers• “giving back” is very engrained in american culture• component of evaluation of suitability for college, jobs• leading a volunteer effort is especially notable
  • 8. community service as rehabilitation
  • 9. virtual volunteering• telementoring• teletutoring• virtual internships• united nations online volunteering
  • 10. online activism• kony 2012 • one of the most-viewed videos of all time on youtube and vimeo • 18-29 year-olds overwhelmingly more likely to have heard about kony than elders and to have viewed video online • 66% of twitter traffic from march 5-12 supported the anti-kony campaign• stop online piracy act (sopa), 2011 • internet users and activists worked together to defeat sopa through internet blackout, blogs, videos, discussions organized largely by youth.• bank of america, 2011 • 75,000 people signed petition by 22-year-old on change.org to protest bank of america’s $5 debit card fee, resulting in boa reversing its decision• occupy movement, 2011 • raised us $454,000 during its first month of activity, mostly from online donors.