March 2010 – Giving Back to the Community

The March survey featured a series of questions that polled respondents about their thoughts on, and experiences with, participating in community activities.

Below are the March survey questions, and selected responses from the 210 respondents.

Question #1 
In the past year, how often have you volunteered or participated in any community events?

March Question 1

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“It’s important to give back and be a model for youth to do the same.”

“Since I am unemployed, I find that volunteering gets me outside, keeps me active (instead of just sitting inside all day watching TV). I volunteer for various events/charities in the Cleveland area (including WCPN and WVIZ). It’s my way of giving back since I am unable to contribute financially, and to be honest, sometimes when money is tight, by volunteering I get fed and sometimes clothes (a volunteer t-shirt). Last year it seems that I was doing some sort of volunteering almost every weekend. This year, I find I am being choosier; only helping out those organizations or events that I truly believe in.”

“Does it count if my obsession is organizing community events? It’s not my job, but I get great satisfaction and work really hard at trying to encourage, educate and enable people to walk and bicycle more in their daily lives because it is cleaner, greener and will make people wealthier and healthier.”

“I spend much of my free time volunteering for many local boards in Slavic Village - I sit on a few and am chair of one. It is the only way to get things done correctly, in my humble opinion.”

“I have opportunities to help my neighbors during the snowy season, as it is common for me to shovel their driveway(s).”

“I’ve been volunteering at Fairmount Temple for almost 60 years in many, many different ways - i.e. Board of Trustees, chairperson of various committees, manager/chair of major events, President of Congregation, etc., etc., etc. My level of activity has reduced greatly in recent years… my choice.”

“I participate by giving free or reduced rate services from my business to non-profits because I have so little time to give personally due to the business itself!”

“I wish I had the energy to do more!” 

Question #2 
If you have participated in one or more community events, what did you do?

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“I volunteer on a Board and one of its committees (a health care safety net organization). I also occasionally attend fundraisers for various organizations.”

“Volunteered at Wine & Walleye in Ashtabula Ohio as staff. Volunteered at Earth Day clean-up at the Geneva State Park.”

“President of local citizen group. Also gave lectures in community and participated in campaigns. Active in local and state professional organizations as well.”

“Volunteer at WCPN; volunteer for Cleveland Metroparks system.”

“Prepared books for circulation in church library, prepared treats for church fellowship hour, coordinated my church’s participation in the Southern Hills CROP Walk.”

“I have manned information booths for a charity group, bought books at a library book sale, did guerilla planting in vacant lots, and supported community cultural events.”

“I’ve participated in the Thanksgiving Day run for the Geneserett Foundation. I also help at the Making Strides walk and the heart walk in Akron.”

“Fundraisers for the LGBT Community.”

“I help with book sales for the Friends at my library. I also support local historic groups.”

“Weave on an antique loom at Finnish Heritage Museum.”

“Cook for Meals on Wheels once a week and fill in other days as needed.”

“I helped set up tents for a Safe Routes event at our local park, which promotes making sure kids have a safe way to walk to and from school.”

“WVIZ Auction (annually) and also children’s events periodically.” 

Question #3 
Why do you volunteer or participate in community events? Choose all that apply.

March Question 3

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“I began tutoring because my only grandson - then 5 - lived out of town and it was a way of helping keep up with kids.”

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you - Golden Rule.”

“I have not learned to say ‘no’.”

“It’s my responsibility as a citizen.”

“When I was staying in a shelter, it was also a way for me to get out of there every day. It seems that if I stayed at the shelter all day, I dropped to that mentality - if that makes sense. I don’t do drugs nor have I ever been in prison and it seems that the majority of the women in there, that’s all they have going for them. I chose to leave the shelter every day. I wanted to better myself; to have a ‘life,’ other than waste my day being around people who just sat there all day doing nothing.”

“Because people said it was impossible to do. Somehow, that motivates me.”

“I believe everyone has a moral imperative to lift those around them, or to be willing to be lifted by others.”

“I like to help wherever I can contribute because it makes me feel good.”

“I enjoy Public Television and am not financially able to donate - so I volunteer my time.”

“We all must volunteer our time when we can to make things better. My faith calls me to volunteer.”

“Volunteers are what make a lot of these programs run. I feel a sense of duty to do my part.”

“Enjoy being productive and contributing in retirement – well, not very retired I guess.”

“To stop disinformation from spreading to the uneducated public.”

“As an elected official, if I want others to contribute I need to do so as well.” 

Question #4 
Have you ever been motivated and/or inspired to volunteer or participate in a community event due to a program or service ideastream has offered?

March Question 4

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“Charity has no boundaries!”

“I prefer to volunteer for activities that hit closest to home. As I live on the west side in Lorain County, few events I hear about are close to me.”

“Hard to tell, as ideastream overlaps in much of what I do.”

“Usually I just ‘man the phones’ for the pledge drives and Auction, but since my involvement with the stations, I have done other things for the stations (I just heard about helping the CMSD 1st-3rd graders with their reading and I plan on calling about that).”

“Not yet… but hopefully in the future.”

“The correct answer should be ‘not yet,’ as there have been several projects I’ve heard about but was unable to work on due to scheduling conflicts.”

“Maggie Gibson (ideastream’s Volunteer Coordinator) is a gem of great worth. She inspires a diverse group to work together for common causes.”

“Not directly, but it is good to know others are performing good works.”

“Most of my involvement is in Ashland County, which is not much remarked upon in ideastream.”

“The annual Auction is part of the funding for the station and I hope the station remains viable… so I participate.”

“Yes, my first volunteer job upon moving to Cleveland was working on the WVIZ Auction.”

“Have only been exposed to ideastream for a short time, so the opportunity has not been there for me yet.”

“Only because I am already completely committed to my present projects. No other time! I’m sure you have good ideas. I did participate in Gov. Strickland’s educational meetings at ideastream. Excellent.”

“I have been inspired to donate financially to causes (hunger programs) due to programs I have heard on ideastream.”

“I feel that the ideastream agenda varies more and more from that of what America needs.”

“Not yet, but I heard about some that left me wanting to learn more about volunteering.” 

Question #5 
What did you do? Choose all that apply.

March Question 5

Note – question 5 was a follow-up to question 4.

Question #6 
Has the recent economic climate affected how or why you volunteer?

March Question 6

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“I now have proof positive that my efforts are needed when so many services are out.”

“There is more need for volunteer office work because of the recession.”

“I have to be more selective. I was laid off and expenses associated with volunteering are a factor.”

“Since I am unemployed, I have more time to volunteer.”

“I have less free time to volunteer because I work more.”

“I have a little more time, plus I am more mindful of the abundance in my life which really makes me want to give. We complain about what we don’t have but we are truly rich beyond measure.”

“I see how much I have been given in life and how little I truly need to be happy so I am re-examining my philanthropic positions.” 

Question #7 
Have you ever volunteered for ideastream?

March Question 7

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“You tell me how.”

“Can’t take on anything now, but love ideastream.”

“All you need to do is ask.”

“Love it and will do it as long/much as I can. Everyone is nice, friendly.”

“I’m always full of the good intention to volunteer at ideastream; I’m just organizationally and motivationally challenged!”

“Would if they were closer to home. I like to spend more time volunteering than driving.”

“I volunteer for the WCPN on air fund raising and find to be a great time with great people for a great community asset.”

“Very worthwhile organization that helps combat the ‘dumbing down’ of America.”

“I want my volunteer work to make use of my skills, knowledge, or talents. I don’t want to just do grunt work, like answering phones.”

“I don’t have a whole lot of free time, but being an ideaLeader is my way of giving to ideastream.” 

Question #8 
Have you responded to any of these prior Listening Project surveys? (choose all that apply)

March Question 8

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“From comments that I have read from other participants, some seem to think their responses are not valid because they don’t live in Cleveland. I don’t live in Cleveland either, but I participate.”

“I am a recent joiner of the Listening Project.”

“I like how the surveys are short and quick to complete!”

“I usually pay attention to anything having to do with education.”

“I can’t remember which I have replied to, but I try to reply to all of them. My list may not be 100% accurate.”

“Think this is a great project.”

“I was not alert to others and most often ignore surveys. The word, ‘Listening,’ peaked my interest.”

“Great project, keep eliciting feedback!”

“I’d like to see the results of the survey translated to your shows more… not just via the Sound of Ideas or Applause.”

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