With all of the bad economic news, here's a comforting note for Midlands residents: Columbia ranks as one of the 10 most charitable cities in the country.
The ranking done by Men's Health magazine focuses on giving during the holiday season - standard donations to Goodwill Industries in December, to the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign and to the Toys for Tots Foundation as well as large online donations tracked by Convio, a software provider for nonprofit groups.
Madison, Wis., was the only city with an A-plus ranking. Three cities - Richland, Va., Seattle and Cincinnati - earned an A, and Columbia joined Austin, Texas, Spokane, Wash., Norfolk, Va., Pittsburgh and Tampa in the A-minus category.
Columbia is the only S.C. market in the 100-city listing. Both Charlotte and Atlanta got a B-plus grade. Last on the list - with an F - was Yonkers, N.Y.
Columbia making the Top 10 didn't surprise Seth Taylor, volunteer coordinator for the Salvation Army of the Midlands. The Red Kettle Campaign raised $240,350 in the Midlands in 2008, up from $170,000 a year earlier.
"With the economy, the need was huge last year," Taylor said. "But the community came through and supported the work of the Salvation Army."
- Joey Holleman