Volunteer article Twin Cities No 1
Need Help? Twin Cities area ranks No. 1 in volunteering
40% donate time;
by Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press
Midwesterners are more likely to
volunteer their time than are people elsewhere in the
"It's really about
The Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency, used Census Bureau data to determine the share of people age 16 and older who had volunteered their time in the previous year.
The study provides three-year averages, for 2004 through 2006, for the 50 largest metropolitan areas.
Minneapolis-St. Paul was followed
at the top by
Nationally, 26.7 percent of adults in 2006 said they had volunteered in the previous year. That compares with 28.8 percent in 2005 and 20.4 percent in 1989.
More than one-third of the people who volunteered in 2005 stopped in 2006.
"Volunteering has a leaky bucket," said Robert Grimm, an author of the report. "Many times, people drop out because the activities are not challenging enough or they're not substantial enough."
"The person goes away saying, 'I feel good. I made a difference today,' " Weber said.
The study said several demographic and social factors appear to contribute to higher volunteer rates:
· Short commutes to work, which provide more time to volunteer.
· Home ownership, which promotes attachment to the community.
· High education levels, which increase civic involvement.
· High concentrations of nonprofit organizations providing opportunities to volunteer.
Volunteering can have a "positive, substantial impact on the life of a youth," or it can help an older person remain at home instead of moving into a nursing home, said Grimm, director of research and policy development for the federal agency.
"Volunteering is not something that's just nice to do, it's necessary to solve important community problems," he said.
Kuivanen and other retirees teach students about electricity and magnetism. He said it is important for young students to learn about science and technology, maybe creating interest in a future career.
"I wanted to volunteer because I wanted give back," Kuivanen said. "It's fun to golf and fish and hunt, and I do all that. But I wanted to do something that I thought was needed, to help others.”