NYS Down in Volunteerism

December 18, 2012 Updated Dec 18, 2012 at 9:18 AM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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December 18, 2012 Updated Dec 18, 2012 at 9:18 AM EDT


Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - The Jericho Road Ministry relies on volunteers to keep their organization going here in the Queen City.

"I work with volunteers, help train them with strategies with refugees so they can learn English in their homes," Directo...r of English as a Second Language Class at Jericho Road Ministries Anna Matejova said.

Now, a recent study from the Corporation for National & Community Service shows that New York State ranks dead last in the 50 states behind Hawaii and Nevada in volunteerism with just 20 percent of residents reporting they help others. Matejova with had this to say about those findings.

"I find them surprising. I find so many people who are dedicated and I've been inspired and surprised by the dedication the volunteers show," Matejova said.

Matejova said she has actually seen more people coming out to help in the passed few years.

"I have seen in our program an increase in volunteers and volunteers coming from all areas of the community," Matejova said.

Volunteers like Betty Barnett. Barnett is a retire schoolteacher who volunteers with the ministry weekly, teaching refugees English. She said no matter where New York State ranks on the list, she thinks more people must get involved.

"I think there is always a need for more volunteers. There are a lot of people who enjoy it and volunteer but there is always a need for more," Barnett said

Both Barnett and Matejova agree the more volunteers, the more people could be helped and they encourage everyone to make giving back one of their New Year's resolutions for 2013