‘Tis the season…Do millennials give?

Millennials might be known to their elders for texts and tattoos, but they’re also a pretty giving bunch.

Michaeleen Doucleff, NPR

Slide1It’s the holiday season. Offices and schools have held donation drives for low-income families. Globe Santa has delivered presents to children in need.

Last week, a friend asked me: Does our generation give to charity? Have hard times made Gen Y stingy?

To the contrary, it seems. As Doucleff (above) discusses in her NPR piece, a recent study, conducted by the United Nations Foundation and Indiana University, reveals that 9 in 10 young people in the U.S. contributed to charity at least once during the years 2002 and 2007. (Check out this sweet infographic!)

Emily Esfahani Smith and Jennifer L. Aaker of The Atlantic Monthly suggest that, historically, times of economic difficulty actually correlate with young adults’ increased concern for others. “During times of hardship,” the writers argue, “young people more frequently look outward to others and the world at large.”

Millennials’ altruism extends into their career choices. As Smith and Aaker point out, the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) has surveyed a significant number of millennials aiming to work in health care and government sectors. James Lewis, NSHSS CEO, has told Forbes Magazine that millennials “have a passion for helping other people” and solving the country’s problems.

Food for thought as we head into 2015!


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