Remembering September 11: How America Has Changed

"Nothing will ever be the same" was our constant refrain after the terrorist attacks. But how different are we today, really?

By Reader's Digest Editors


Brian Stauffer for Reader’s Digest

We volunteer more.
After 9/11, the number of Americans who did volunteer work rose steadily, growing to nearly 29 percent by 2005, up from around 20 percent in the late 20th century. The 63 million Americans who donate their time today average 34.2 hours a year, providing $169 billion worth of services annually, free of charge.

And aging Americans’ second acts will increase those numbers even more. “Seventy-six million people will be looking for an ‘encore career’ soon, and engaging them in highly skilled opportunities will be crucial,” says Heather Peeler, chief strategy officer at the Corporation for National and Community Service. “We’re already seeing nonprofits gearing up to accommodate baby boomers.” Match your skills to a volunteer effort by visiting or

Next: How your lives changed »

Brian Stauffer for Reader's Digest

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