DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — New data shows that there has been a decline nationwide in the number of volunteers at nonprofit organizations.

This has been especially true after the pandemic, and now local organizations are doing their best to meet the need for volunteers. Some organizations are managing to keep their volunteer numbers high, while others have a strong need for people to step up.

Kristina Gosney, the program director for the Boys & Girls Club of Dayton, said the center is far from their intended goal and is searching for additional help.

“We are probably in about 20 percent of what we would like to see,” Gosney said.

The organization’s volunteer numbers are expected to drop even lower with the summer approaching, with a crop of current college volunteers wrapping up their service just as the summer arrives.

They are not alone. The local chapter of the American Red Cross said they need summer volunteers too.

“We have a lot of great people who are doing great things already,” Don Hawkins, Central and South Ohio regional communications director of the American Red Cross, said.

“We would love to have more people on that team helping them out or trying to get more folks to sign up now to go through the training and all the processes to get ready so they can take up some volunteer hours this summer and take the load off of the people who’ve been here for months or years already, just to spread out some of that work.”

The Red Cross said it is fortunate that it does not need as much help.

However, the Boys & Girls Club of Dayton needs volunteers just to fill their daily needs. Officials said it is worth it, adding that the volunteer experience can fulfill both the children helped, as well as the people who volunteer.

“It’s so lovely, you coming in every day and having kids greet you with a smile and a hug,” Gosney said.

“That is always fulfilling, that that moment where you know that you’re making a difference in child’s life, and you are a safe adult for them. I think ultimately that is the most rewarding part of this experience is just knowing that you are creating safety, and you are creating support.”

To learn more and volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club of Dayton, click here.

To learn more and volunteer with the Red Cross, click here.

The Dayton Red Cross is also hosting a blood drive in April 27th.