1.6 Million More Americans Volunteered in 2009

Volunteering in America is on the rise.

Photo by Maria-José Subiria Mecco McKinney (left), 3, watches his brother, Willie,5, hammer a nail into the wall of what soon will be their home. Terry Chapman, a volunteer for Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity, supervises.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Volunteering in America is on the rise.

A federal report says Americans spent 100 million more hours helping their communities last year than in 2008.

The number of people getting involved also went up by 1.6 million to 63.4 million, as more women and blacks lent a helping hand.

Overall, Americans set aside more than 8 billion hours to give back last year.

Raising money or selling items was the top volunteer activity. That was followed by collecting and distributing food.

The report is being released Tuesday by the government-run Corporation for National and Community Service.

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