Twin Cities residents volunteer more

The Star Tribune reported yesterday that "Twin Cities residents volunteer more of their time...than folks in any other metro area in the nation."

More than 900,000 metro residents, in city and suburb, volunteered an average of 44 hours a year in 2009, according to the annual report by the federal agency overseeing national service programs.

This is great to hear for many reasons. It says a lot about the type of community this area is and shows that "Minnesota nice" is as nice as ever. These stats are supported by a recent news release showing we have one of the "happiest" workforces in the country too.Why else are we top of the list?

It's not just an inherent generous spirit in Minnesota fueling this do-good behavior. The quality of life here plays a role, the report said. Home ownership increases volunteer rates, studies have shown, and nearly 74 percent of Twin Cities residents own their own places. That compares to 67 percent nationally.

Volunteering rises with education. Nearly 93 percent of Twin Cities residents hold high school degrees and 38 percent have college degrees. That compares to 85 percent and 28 percent nationally.

Volunteering can also be a great way to find a job, or explore other career opportunities, as the Examiner notes:

The benefits of volunteering for your job search are endless:
  • Prevents a gap from growing on your resume
  • Provides extensive networking opportunities
  • Supplies you with fresh professional references
  • Updates your skills and teaches you new ones
  • Helps your community and shows your compassionate side
  • Gives you confidence in your abilities
  • Allows you to gain experience in a new field, function, or industry

From the employer’s perspective, it shows that you are a go-getter who will do whatever it takes to succeed, that you’re self-motivated and kind, and that you are really passionate about what you do.

So add yourself to the ranks of volunteers if you haven't already. And If you have tell us about what success you've found.