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Midwest Gets Off Can, Helps

By Alicia Dorr in Miscellaneous on Jul 9, 2007 5:57PM

volunteer.jpgYou may have read or heard that the Midwest kicks the rest of the country's ace in the volunteerism sector. That doesn't necessarily mean Chicago does, though.

Chicago residents are a bit stingier with their time when compared with people in other Midwest cities — according to the federal study, we ranked 32nd. The highest rates of volunteerism in both the Midwest and the nation among those 16 and older were in Minneapolis-St. Paul. And nobody, but nobody volunteers in Las Vegas (unless it's to pick up all those girl-advertising cards along the sidewalks).

The study found that there are several things that can make it easier for people in a certain area to volunteer, including home-ownership, high education levels, and the presence of a lot of nonprofit organizations. The last is what is making us a bit uncomfortable with people not volunteering as much in Chicago because, seriously, we have boatloads. Can't swing a dead cat, the whole bit. What we hope is that people read the information and really think about it. It's sort of like a Chicago Public Radio pledge drive — if you have the time and/or the money, help.

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