By: JoAnn Schinderle, Community Networking Coordinator, HandsOn Twin Cities
CONGRATULATIONS TWIN CITIES- YOU DID IT!!You’ve been nationally recognized for your kindhearted acts of volunteering! According to www.VolunteeringInAmerica.gov, Minneapolis/St.Paul has been ranked #1 once again for highest percentage rate of volunteers per metro area! On average 37.1% of Twin Cities community members volunteer. In a close second is Portland, OR with 36.2%, behind that number is Salt Lake City, UT at 34.1%. Minnesota as a state ranks #3 in overall volunteering.
HandsOn Twin Cities would like to extend much gratitude for all the raking, weeding, painting, cleaning, building, organizing, collecting, donating, mentoring, leading, sharing of knowledge and goodwill to build an all encompassing sense of community. You truly carry out the ‘Minnesota Nice’ stereotype, which proves to be a good thing.
So what is it about the Twin Cities that we’ve kept this title 5 years running? “It’s in our Midwestern values, it’s the way we raise our kids” says HOTC Executive Director Kristin Schurrer. Those values shine true not only in families, but in schools and work environments. Metro area schools focus on service-learning for students as graduation requirements. Local corporations highly encourage their employees to volunteer, even allowing them to do so during office hours. It just seems natural for Twin Cities residents to lend a hand, most of the time people are volunteering without even knowing it!
As a Nation, volunteers served 8.1 billion hours in 2010, valued at an estimated $173 billion (www.nationalservice.gov). That’s a whole ‘lotta people power! Living in a society where money is being nickel ‘n dimed and daily schedules are packed to the brim; it’s refreshing to know that helping out your neighbor is still a priority on America’s ‘Things To Do’ list.
This extensive research done by the Corporation for National & Community Service calculates all citywide organized volunteers, yet it does not reflect the numbers of un-sung heroes in our area (those who deliver food to shut-in’s, or who watch their neighbor’s kids) we’d like to recognize those day to day acts of kindness as well. Thank you Twin Cities for individually and collectively volunteering in your communities, your work truly does make a difference.