The Daily Gamecock

In Our Opinion: More volunteers can make a greater impact

There’s good and bad news in USC’s annual community service report.

The good: The university community raised more money and volunteered more hours last year than ever before. ($330635.48 and 30182 hours more, respectively.)

That’s encouraging, and it’s a testament to the huge impact that USC students and faculty have on the community — and to how much greater an impact we could have.

That leads to the bad news: The number of volunteers from USC fell this year from 36,676 to 23,194, a loss of 7,482 overall.

Combined, those statistics show that the group of USC students and faculty that are volunteering is more dedicated than ever. We applaud their efforts to give back to those less fortunate than us and those who need our help.

We only wish that group was bigger, and if we all pitch in — even a little bit — that shouldn’t be a hard problem to solve, because there are plenty of ways to give back.

There are service trips over breaks, opportunities to volunteer on a weekly or monthly basis, classes that urge service learning and hordes of charities — local and national — that need help. And there’s no shortage of fundraising efforts that could use your help or donations.

The benefits are bigger than the charities and the community, too. Giving back exposes volunteers to new world views and to the problems the city and state face, and that’s important as each of us grow and mature.

So while we’re encouraged by the rise of each volunteer’s increased dedication, we hope this year’s dip in participants will lead to a surge next year. With more productivity and more people, our impact will only grow further.