Volunteer 2hrs/week & offset budget cuts from debt ceiling debate

We live in tough times. Budgets are being slashed in households, cities, states, and our nation. Show me someone who hasn’t been impacted or had someone close to them impacted and I’ll show you a hermit with a billion bucks stuffed under his mattress.

With congress coming to terms at the last moment, the debt ceiling has been raised, but another $2.4 trillion of cuts are to be made over the next 10 years. $2.4 trillion seems like a lot, but it’s nothing that a nation of volunteers can’t make up for.

Let’s do the math:

$2,400,000,000,000 of cuts / 300 million Americans = $8,000 of cuts / person

1 hour of volunteering = $20

$8,000 of debt per person / $20 per volunteer hour = 400 hours per person

The cuts are two be carried out over a period of ten years, but if we divide our volunteering over four years…

400 hours volunteered per person / 2 years / 52 weeks = 1.92 volunteer hours per week.

Two hours! If every American volunteered only two hours each week for the next four years, the value of our service to one another would equal $2.4 trillion.

I know that the logic isn’t exactly that simple. Volunteers aren’t going to take on major infrastructure projects or maintain peace in a foreign land. But there are so many other ways we can contribute.

We could give back to our schools who are already struggling under shrinking budgets. My literary agent Caren is part of the Room to Write program, which encourages kids to read and write. Or we could become a mentor, which is a heck of a lot of fun and a proven way to keep youth out of prison. We could volunteer as EMTs or firefighters. Or we could find some other way to donate because volunteers are the new city employees.

Regardless of your politics, regardless if you think the cuts were too little or two much, a country of engaged citizens donating two or more hours per week would arguably have a larger economic impact than the loss of $2.4 trillion in government funds. Caren is getting kids excited about reading, which will yield better students able to solve tomorrow’s problems. The Leadership Board here in Muncie is championing mentoring, which ultimately leads to less crowded prisons and more productive citizens. What are you doing?

Will you pledge to volunteer two or more hours of your week for the next four years? Check out my Glocal Volunteer Resource to get started today.


Interesting way of thinking about the national debt. I enjoyed reading your article.

Grace says:

My plan to address budget cuts….
Imagine if every college graduate were required to do a program like AmeriCorps for two years. They could easily be placed in a volunteer position that pertains to their feild of study and better prepares them for a career. Therefore we could have highly educated (and idealistic) young people providing the much needed services that are the first to be cut from the budget. It seems like a win win- students get education awards and two years of legit experience before entering the formal workforce, the services remain available and are improved by the innovation of young minds, and the government can still cut spending.

Let your voice be heard!