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Good Question: Who Volunteers & Where Do They Do It?

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(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(credit: CBS) Heather Brown
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Volunteering always ranks right up there when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. Here in Minnesota, it’s a place where we excel. Almost 38 percent of Minnesotans give money or time — ranking the Land of 10,000 Lakes second in the country.

On New Year’s Day, several people kicked off 2014 by serving dinner at Minneapolis’ People Serving People.

“I just went on the people serving people website and there were a couple of spots open and I said this sounds fun,” said Ariella Deprenger-Gottfried, of Minneapolis.

“My New Year’s resolution is that as a family, we’re going to try to give more of our time,” said Jennifer Winterer, of Hastings.

While Minnesota ranks second among states, Minneapolis-St. Paul ranks first among large cities.

“I think it has a lot to do with our family values,” said Kristin Scherrer, executive director of HandsOn Twin Cities. “Many Minnesotans who lived here or grew up here, it’s part of who they are and how they were raised.”

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, the top Minnesota activities for volunteering are collecting/distributing food (28 percent), fundraising (27 percent), general labor (23 percent), professional/management (18 percent) and tutoring/teaching (18 percent).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, nationwide, more women (30 percent) than men (23 percent) volunteer. Married people (32 percent) volunteer more often than single people (21 percent). People between the ages of 35 to 44 are the most likely age group to give and people with more education volunteer higher rates – especially through teaching and professional advice.

“I see a big push for youth to volunteer,” Scherrer said. “The schools are encouraging people and some schools now have it as a requirement.”

She also says more companies are getting their employees involved by giving them work time off to volunteer.

Religious organizations are, by far, the top way for people to get involved. They make up 38 percent of Minnesota volunteers.

“There’s a reason Utah is number one in volunteering,” said Scherrer. “It does, a lot of the time, come from your faith-based institution.”

Education comes next, followed by social services, health, civic organizations and sports.

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