Some Georgians aren’t lending a helping hand - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Some Georgians aren’t lending a helping hand

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Georgians don't spend nearly as much time volunteering as people in many other parts of the country.

The Georgia Civic Health Index studied key indicators of civic involvement in the Peach State and found we've got a lot of room for improvement.

Volunteers help keep the East Albany Boys and Girls club running.  Denzell Mack use to be in the shoes of these kids. 

Now, he is doing what he saw his mentors do for him when he was a youngster   "it made me want to do the same, if I could do the same thing they could," said Denzell Mack, Boys & Girls Club volunteer.  

Mack says he gets as much out of being a volunteer as he gives. 

"I just do it for experience, more to them than they do me. They teach me lessons to be patients and to realize other people have problems they have to recognize and make sure you can take care of all of them at one time," said Mack.  

But while Mack and many of you volunteer your time to serve others in your community, there are a lot of people in Georgia who do not. 

The new Georgia Civic Health Index shows Georgia ranks 34th in the nation in volunteerism.  East Albany Boys and Girls Club director Michael Nelson would like to see that change.  

"It's really sad to hear because volunteerism is one of the good things Boys & Girls club have represented throughout its existence, so it really make me feel bad," said Michael Nelson, unit director, Boys & Girls Club.  

Nelson says people can come up with all sorts of reasons not to help out.  

"Because it's so easy to get say for instance with the sex abuse, it's so easy to be charged with abuse or whatever, sometimes people get scared to get involved because they think they may end up getting in trouble," said Nelson.

But he says even if you don't enjoy working with kids,you shouldn't let that deter you from volunteering  

"Well whether you're dealing directly with kids or people, there are all kind of ways to volunteer. You don't actually have to be one on one, as long as you're helping somebody, that's volunteering, it don't matter what you do," said Nelson.  

So in the end you are improving the life of someone who is in need.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Boys & Girls club visit www.bgcalbany.org/get-involved/

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