And a random item from USA Today:
If you live in Minneapolis, Salt Lake City or Austin, you're more likely to volunteer in your community than if you live in other metro areas, says a report out today by the Corporation for National and Community Service. It's not that people in those cities are necessarily kinder or gentler. They just have the right circumstances for volunteering: They feel connected to their communities, have more education, own their own homes, spend less time commuting and have more opportunities to give back, the report says.
Residents of cities where people spend a lot of time commuting or live in apartments, by contrast, tend to feel less connected to their communities, so they don't volunteer as much. Cities that ranked lowest are New York, Miami and Las Vegas. Residents of rural areas volunteer more than urban areas, the report says.
This correlates well with what Robert Putnam reported, that the more commuting you do, the less time you have for civic involvement or community service. To the extent that suburbia tends to be a commuter culture, suburban Christians should be aware of how commuting tends to diminish volunteering. (I was glad to see that my hometown of Minneapolis-St. Paul ranked #1 in the study, with 40.5% of residents doing volunteer work. Chicago ranks #32, with 27.4%. Last on the list at #50 is Las Vegas with 14.4%. See the article for the full list.)