Owensboro, KY – By creating a venue that both allows individuals to see the many ways they can make a difference and agencies to promote their needs, the United Way has implemented an online volunteer hub and increased the potential for volunteerism, donations, and involvement in the community. This summer, nonprofits and charities in the county began posting their volunteer and other needs online in hopes of increasing the opportunities for community members to get involved. The online system, which is administrated by the local United Way, is called “Get Connected.”
Even before the official launch, area agencies are realizing the impact. Tish Correa-Osborne, CEO of Girls Inc explains: “Get Connected is just a wonderful mechanism for any agency to get the word out to the community that there is a need for volunteers, in-kind donations or even a place to post job openings. We recently made a connection with a state-wide group of corporate volunteers looking for an agency to help out in a day of service. This group found us on Get Connected. They were able to read about our organization and what we do and that set the wheels in motion for them to come in and spend the whole day on our campus doing landscaping, gardening, installing a new basketball goal, painting, and even having a cook-out lunch for our girls. It was a great day that never would have happened if they hadn’t found us on Get Connected.”
Now it’s even easier to “get connected” to your community by volunteering your most precious resource –
your time. This week, United Way launches Get Connected, a new and improved online platform to match nonprofit organizations and their volunteer opportunities with individuals and groups that want to take action in their community by reaching out and lending a hand. Go to www.uwov.org, then click on the blue “Get Connected” button to get to the Get Connected site.
Many nonprofit organizations are experiencing an increased demand for their services. Everyone can help by volunteering their time to an important cause. Browse the opportunities posted by nonprofit groups from all across the Ohio Valley to find the one that best meets your interests and time availability. Then contact the agency, roll up your sleeves, and be prepared to make a meaningful difference in your community.
Volunteers can register and search the site by keyword, agency, or length of volunteer commitment. Be a mentor or tutor. Work on special events or help out in the office. Lend your area of expertise to a nonprofit group. All of these opportunities are currently posted on Get Connected.
Nonprofit organizations throughout the region are invited to register on Get Connected and post volunteer opportunities. You don’t have to receive funding from United Way to participate. Agencies looking for volunteers can use Get Connected to create one-time or ongoing opportunities, manage referrals, post photos from your volunteer projects, and record volunteer hours. Your agency and its opportunities will be viewed by the thousands of people that visit the United Way website every month.
David Ross, UWOV CEO states “We are excited about the potential for Get Connected . We see this website as being a major hub for volunteer activity in our community. It’s a one-stop site that allows the volunteer to build their profile, list their personal interests and favorite agencies – much like “liking” an organization on Facebook. The volunteer is then kept in the loop when an event or opportunity is posted that matches their profile by posts on their profile wall or by email notification. They can respond online and even keep track of their volunteer hours for each project. This is a great tool for a student who needs to track volunteer hours for class credit or a company employee tracking volunteer hours to earn matching corporate donations”.
Opportunities currently listed online include items to be donated to a local food pantry, several needs for building clean up and maintenance including painting, roofing, and siding repair, a need for someone to tend a raised bed community garden, sporting event volunteers and coaches, computer and office equipment donations and much more. Users can go to www. uwov.org and click on the blue “Get Connected” button to respond to these needs.
Responding to needs is easy and can change a life. “The smallest gesture can make a huge impact. Something as simple as volunteering an afternoon to read to children or bringing a bag of shampoo and soap to a homeless shelter can make a difference in someone’s life.” says Ross.