Last year August, I joined the local Ruby meetup in Chicago, mainly to meet other programmers, and see if they know stuff about Ruby I hadn't come across yet. Since I lived in the suburbs, going to Chirb was a little bit of a hike, so good thing for ChicagoRuby.
At the first meetup, there were seven people, and one of them being Ray Hightower. The previous organizer was stepping down, Ray volunteered to step up, and I said I'd help him out. I mainly helped out with small things and giving talks when there was none to be had. Since then, Ray's grown the meetup to over 150 people, not to mention setting up a whole conference on Rails. WindycityRails, however is sold out, so you'll have to wait until next year. Kudos to Ray.
I hadn't been involved with ChicagoRuby since about March or so, since I've run off to Boston and then New York. So Ray rightfully set me up on the Alumni list. Yay.
Anyway, if any of you are based in Chicago, go to ChicagoRuby, and help Ray out. Volunteer for stuff. He'll appreciate it, and your ruby community will appreciate it too. The benefits of doing work and getting involved far outweigh the costs of doing so.