New York State ranked last in the Corporation of National and Community Service's most recent survey. Only 19% of residents in New York are volunteers. Because of the current economic crisis and the influx of demand for community service organizations, this lack of volunteers can be detrimental.
Jeffrey Banta is the Volunteers Director at the Meals on Wheels of Syracuse. Because of the recent decline in volunteers, Banta has currently been working on programs to recruit new members to volunteer.
"Currently I'm working with local churches, youth groups and families to get the message out," said Banta. "Most families like to volunteer during the holidays or breaks, but we need to more volunteers during regular hours."
Banta says the Syracuse location of Meals on Wheels has about 70 volunteers a week to deliver over 3,000 meals to Syracuse residents. He says he believes even volunteering once a week would make a difference.
"You don't need to come in every day, or even every or day or every week," says Banta. "I think if people have a positive experience the first time, they will come back again."