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Minnesotans Leading Nation in Volunteering, Local Adopted Grandpa Says It’s Worth It [AUDIO]

Grandpa Paul Stacke during his volunteer time at the Children’s Home (Photo by WJON’s Abby Faulkner)

ST. CLOUD – Minnesotans are rolling up their sleeves and volunteering more than most of the nation, year over year.

This is one of the findings in a study by the Corporation for National and Community Service published in December.

The corporation reports Minnesota ranks third in the country with 38% of all citizens volunteering during the year, and Minneapolis-St. Paul at 37%, the highest of any metro area in the US.

So what motivates so many of us to give back?

For one local man, it’s the satisfaction of helping just by “listening, learning and comforting” others.

Paul Stacke is an adopted grandfather in an adolescent wing of Catholic Charities Children’s Home in St. Cloud.

Stacke says when he retired, he knew he needed to do something out in the community. He discovered the volunteer program at the home 2 years ago, and has been there ever since.

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Now Stacke, known affectionately by the residents as “grandpa” says he doesn’t know what he’d do without the 4 hours a day, 5 days a week he spends just hanging out with the kids, who he says make him nostalgic for the days when his own children were young.

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Stacke says there are many foster grandparents in our area, but many organizations are seeking more – particularly men.

You can learn more about volunteering in our area, and the study, by visiting the Corporation for National and Community Service website.

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