Volunteering Gives Purpose To East Texans

For a retired person, Dennis Spath is pretty busy on Friday afternoons. Dennis has been volunteering every Friday with PATH for over two years. He helps stock their pantry, and puts together food bags for needy families, and knows that everybody needs a little help sometimes.

"It's nice to be helping the people," Spath says. "I can recall a time when I had to apply for welfare so I could get food stamps, because I had been self-employed."

Over the last year, fifty nine million people tutored, mentored, and donated their time to worthwhile causes. Tony Traweek is a realtor who also volunteers as a case worker.

"You can see that you're really helping them," Traweek says, "You can see the groceries go out and see the faces on the children light up."

So they give of their time, knowing what a helping hand can mean to some people. [

"I'm sympathetic to the fact that bad things can happen to good people," Spath says, "And we need to help out as best we can. And being retired, I've got the time, it gives me something constructive to do."

The study, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, found that twenty eight percent of Americans volunteer. On average, they spent about an hour a week in volunteer work. Most volunteers worked in either religious or educational programs.

Reid Kerr reporting.