Survey Shows Americans Overwhelmingly Support President`s Push for Volunteerism

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., June, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE)—A nationwide poll released today by Hilton Hotels & Resorts finds wide support for President Bush`s call for increased community service, but shows only a fraction of Americans have joined the effort to date. Most agree that company-wide programs can increase volunteerism.
The survey, which was fielded in May 2002, gauges how Americans are responding to the president`s appeal for every American to commit 4,000 hours of community service over their lifetimes. The survey is part of Hilton Random Acts of Service(TM), a program designed to facilitate and track random acts of community service among Hilton`s 70,000 employees. The initiative was launched in March in response to President Bush`s January State of The Union Address, during which the president announced the formation of the USA Freedom Corps.

Among the survey`s findings:— Nearly six in ten Americans are aware of the president`s call to increase community service (58 percent)— An overwhelming majority agree with the president that Americans should do more (84 percent)— Fewer than one in four of those who are aware of the president`s call have responded (23 percent)— Nearly half of those who are aware of the president`s call do not plan to respond (44 percent)— Nearly half of Americans say they would be more likely to participate in community service if their workplace encouraged them to do so (48 percent)
“The survey tells us that many Americans really do support the idea of increasing community efforts,” said Robert E. Dirks, senior vice president—brand management & marketing, Hilton Hotels & Resorts. “Clearly, many more people would start volunteering if they were encouraged to do so. That`s the whole idea behind the Hilton Random Acts of Service campaign.”
On a local level, Hilton Random Acts of Service rallies Hilton employees across the country to perform random acts of service on their own time, from helping a neighbor make it to a doctor`s appointment to reading to school kids. Employees receive punch cards to record their efforts, which Hilton is tabulating throughout the year. An estimated 15,000 random acts of service have occurred in just three months.

On a national level, Hilton has begun a major restoration of Artesian Park and other sites in Clinton, Mo., a community chosen by a random dart toss on the Rosie O`Donnell Show on March 7, 2002. Hilton employee volunteers and other resources are being applied toward building a new amphitheater, clearing brush, replanting foliage, designing and building an observation deck and refurbishing restrooms at the park. The Clinton Women, Infants & Children`s Clinic will also get a new handicapped-access ramp, compliments of Hilton volunteers.

“Helping people, such as our guests, is what we do every day, so this program was a natural fit,” said Dirks. “We wanted to lead by example and encourage other corporations to encourage their people to get involved in their communities.”