Report: Metro residents rank 9th nationally in volunteer hours donated

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In this community, there is often a helping hand at the ready.

A new report ranks Kansas Citians in the top 10 nationally when it comes to volunteering their time to charities and civic groups.

"We couldn't do this without volunteers." Those are the words of leaders at Newhouse, a shelter for victims of domestic violence in Kansas City's urban core.

Leaders at that shelter aren't surprised by a federal report called Volunteering and Civic Life in America, which ranks people in the Kansas City metro as being ninth in the nation in terms of volunteer hours completed.

The report says 31.8 percent of people volunteered their time in some capacity during the past year. Vicki Kraft is Newhouse's president, and operator of a shelter serving about 88 women and children at a time.

Kraft says it's not uncommon to see entire teams of volunteers from corporations lend time -- like a group of cabinet-hangers from George Butler and Associates did on Wednesday morning.

"There are many things that need to happen here at the shelter that we just don't have funding for," Kraft said. "Those volunteer hours and the donation of materials really make a difference."

The report says about 488,000 people in the metro volunteered saving more than 1.5 billion dollars for non-profit groups.

Volunteers such as Overland Park native Parker Vowels lend their time to Newhouse. He attends college in Oklahoma, but visits the shelter to work at least twice per year.

"In our nature, it is to help each other because without each other, we can't prosper as a community and we won't grow as a city," Vowels said.

Kraft says volunteers gave Newhouse 5,000 hours in the past year. That's a lot, but she says there's space for even more in the coming year.

Volunteering and Civic Life says the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro leads the nation in volunteer time. Here's a link to the data from that report.

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