This item in Men's Health Magazine is sure to fuel false perceptions about the influence Christian conservatives supposedly wield in Colorado Springs, but it also spotlights one of the city's underappreciated virtues. The magazine based its ranking not just on how many religious organizations we host, but on how generously locals volunteer and give to charity. That's what landed us on the top of the list.
"While it's true that Colorado, at 5,980 feet above sea level, is closer to heaven than even the Mile High City, we used a different set of numbers to divine our findings. We scoured the U.S. Census and the yellow pages (Yellow.com) for places of worship per capita. Then we tallied up religious organizations (U.S. Census) and the number of volunteers who support these groups (VolunteeringinAmerica.gov). Finally, we considered the amount of money donated to religious organizations (Bureau of Labor Statistics and spent on religious books (Mediamark Research)."
This is a city where people render assistance to others in a very hands-on way, working through a wide variety of associations and organizations, secular as well as religious. It's been reported before that Springs residents tend to donate and volunteer at levels above the national average. This ranking confirms it. And while Springs-bashers may seize on the item to paint a simplistic and inaccurate portrait of this great and generous city, I count it as another feather in our caps.