Want to give back in Charlotte but not sure where to start? We’re here to help. CharlotteFive has teamed up with SHARE Charlotte to help you DO GOOD in your community.
Each month will have a theme, and we’ll share stories about that theme. Also, each month we’ll have an opportunity for you to join the C5 team in giving back. This month’s theme is volunteering, so Saturday, April 29 — Hands on Charlotte Day — the C5 team will be at Second Harvest Food Bank from 9 a.m.-noon. Want to join us? Sign up here. There are only a few spots available so sign up now!
If you can’t make it, visit SHAREcharlotte.org and search over 200 volunteer opportunities, and we’ll be sharing more ways you can give back in the C5 newsletter this month.
Charlotte’s got a lot … of volunteers. But there’s still a need. DO GOOD Week kicks off Sunday and we’re making sure everyone knows how grateful we are for Charlotte’s DO GOODers and how important the need still is for volunteers to keep the city’s nonprofit organizations running.
So, for fun — and because I’m a huge data nerd — let’s see how Charlotte stacks up in the volunteering game. Plus, who doesn’t love a little competition?
Not quite the Top 10
A respectable 30.2 percent of Charlotte residents volunteered in 2015, ranking the city 11th among the 51 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) by the Corporation for National & Community Service.
Who was No. 1? Minneapolis-St. Paul with a whopping 37.1 percent volunteer rate. Our friends in Raleigh were 37th with a 23.4 volunteer rate. Coming in 51st was Miami-Fort Lauderdale with a 13.4 volunteer rate. Ouch.
We’ll take No. 11 and will try to get back into the top 10 where Charlotte was the previous three years.
A look at the top 11:
- Minneapolis-St. Paul (37.1%)
- Salt Lake City (36.0%)
- Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis (33.2%)
- Washington DC (33.1%)
- San Jose (32.6%)
- Rochester (32.5%)
- Portland, Ore. (31.4%)
- Seattle (31.1%)
- Kansas City (31.1%)
- Indianapolis (30.3%)
- Charlotte (30.2%)
Young … at heart
Geoff Scantlebury, 70, volunteers through @handsoncharlotte is a volunteer leader tutoring Basic Literacy and Math for Adults at @centralpiedmontcc in the evening and on Saturdays he volunteers for outside projects with organizations like @friendshipgardens and the @carolinaraptor Last year, through United Way of Central Carolinas, Geoff was nominated for the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award by CPCC. “I volunteer to help those less fortunate than myself,” Geoff said. On April 29, Geoff will be leading the #HOCDay project at Charlotte Community Tool Bank. #SHAREhero #DoGoodCLT #dogoodweek
Which age demographic do you think volunteers the most? If you said 20-somethings or millennials, you’d be wrong.
In Charlotte, and most everywhere, the age group that volunteers the most is 55-64 at a rate of 36.5 percent. For 16-34 year-olds, the volunteer rate drops to 24 percent. Charlotte ranks 25th for millennials and sixth for Baby Boomers when it comes to volunteering.
When it comes to volunteering, girls rule across the board. Nationally 27.8 percent of women and 21.8 percent of men volunteered in 2015. In Charlotte the numbers jump considerably to 34.4 percent of women and 25.6 percent of men who volunteer. We just wanted to throw that out there, boys.
They came, they served, they came back
We know Charlotte has a lot of people doing a lot of GOOD. But what makes us giddy is they are coming back!
In 2015, Charlotte boasted a 73.7 percent retention rate, second only to Salt Lake City. This means for every 100 volunteers, 73 returned to volunteer the next year. The data is not clear on whether these volunteers stayed with the same organization or moved to another, but capable people came back to make a difference and DO GOOD in Charlotte in some capacity and we think that rocks.
Serve it up
The activity most Charlotte volunteers (30.8 percent) participated in was the collecting, preparing, serving and distribution of food. Many organizations — in addition to local food pantries and distribution centers like Loaves & Fishes and Second Harvest Food Bank — provide meals for clients. Those meals have to come from somewhere and food is an ever-present need in our community.
Next month we’ll be talking about hunger in our community, but you can help provide meals to Charlotte neighbors in need by choosing one of these opportunities.
Many Charlotte nonprofit organizations are run by volunteers or staffed minimally and volunteers make all their efforts possible. Help keep Charlotte on top of the volunteering game by signing up to DO GOOD today.
Photos: Hands on Charlotte; Charlotte Observer file