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Survey shows volunteering is contagious because of the pandemic

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(NEW YORK) — With all the negative headlines from the ongoing pandemic, there have been positive stories of neighbors helping neighbors and other selfless acts — and according to a new survey, it’s contagious. 

Sixty-five percent of Americans who took part in a poll says the pandemic has inspired a “wake-up call” for them to help their communities. 

The non-scientific survey of 2,000 Americans commissioned by sanitizer company Muse Health showed 52% of respondents started volunteering for the very first time because of the pandemic.  Of those, 35% say they’re delivering food to essential workers, 23% say they’re pitching in to help the elderly or incapacitated to maintain their homes, and 20% say they’ve volunteered at a food pantry. 

However, 70% say they’d love to volunteer but haven’t done so because of safety concerns regarding proper sanitizing, social distancing, and mask wearing.

More than a third of those polled say knowing friends and neighbors who were in need inspired them to volunteer, while 17% said seeing their friends and neighbors pitching to help others inspired them to follow suit.

The survey also showed that while 73% believed donating money and other items to aid pandemic efforts is fine, getting out and helping others personally is more fulfilling.  In fact, 70% say they plan to volunteer more when they get the COVID-19 vaccine.

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