Here's some uplifting news for the holiday season. A new study finds that in 2011 Americans were the most generous people in the world. The U.S. rose from fifth place on the "World Giving Index" in 2010 to number one this year. Ireland placed second, followed by Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain. What tipped the scale in the U.S.'s favor this year was not just monetary donations, but volunteer work and kindness to strangers.
Melissa Berman is president and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers, which manages more than $200 million in annual giving and provides research and counsel on charitable giving. Nicoletta Lamarca Sacco is a Takeaway listener and Bergen County chapter coordinator at ASPEN, the Asperger Educational Network. She talks about why volunteering is an important part of her life.