I heard a statistic this morning that volunteering in the U.S. is up by 20% from this time last year. The news caster made a point that it wasn't a result of the Gulf Oil disaster, but an overall rise. I may be one of the people included in that statistic.
I have been volunteering since last July with a local group called CAT Adoption Team , the feline alternative to the humane society. It's a great group, doing great things for the homeless cats in the area who wouldn't have any options otherwise.
In my humble opinion, the rise in volunteering is partly a result of everything else in the world being so grim. It feels nice to be needed and appreciated for something even as trivial as scooping a litter box for a cat in a shelter.