Minnesota ranks second in volunteer rate; North Dakota comes in 15th
Minnesota and North Dakota were among the top states for volunteering last year, a report released Tuesday said. The Corporation for National and Community Service said 35.4 percent of Minnesota residents volunteered in 2015, which was second-hig...
Minnesota and North Dakota were among the top states for volunteering last year, a report released Tuesday said.
The Corporation for National and Community Service said 35.4 percent of Minnesota residents volunteered in 2015, which was second-highest in the country, including Washington, D.C. North Dakota ranked 15th, with 30.7 percent of its residents volunteering last year.
"People help one another here," said Pat Berger, president and CEO of the United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Area. "Whether that's part of the 'Minnesota Nice' or not, I don't know, but I just know that people are very willing to help out."
Utah's volunteer rate ranked No. 1 in the country, while Louisiana came in last.
The Twin Cities ranked No. 1 for large cities with a volunteer rate of 37.1 percent in 2015. Fargo came in 12th among midsize cities, up from 20th in 2014, according to the CNCS, a federal agency that includes programs such as AmeriCorps.
Grand Forks wasn't included in the rankings.
In both Minnesota and North Dakota, the top volunteer category was collecting, preparing, distributing or serving food.
In North Dakota, 187,819 volunteers logged 15.8 million hours of service in 2015, compared with the more than 1.5 million Minnesota volunteers who spent 155.4 million hours, the report said.
Berger said many smaller communities in North Dakota rely heavily on volunteers, including through fire departments.
"Here in Grand Forks, absolutely none of the nonprofits that I know of could really do all that we do without our volunteers," she said.
That goes for the Grand Forks Senior Center. Jami Schumacher, spokeswoman for the Senior Center, said they wouldn't be able to run their meal delivery programs without the help of volunteers. Overall, the organization had 228 people contribute 12,756 volunteer hours in 2015.
"There are a lot of people, especially once they retire, who feel really strongly about giving back, and it's finally a time in their life that they're able to do that," Schumacher said.