Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Local nonprofits work to increase community involvement by launching “Get Connected”

Mesa County, CO – There’s a new community effort to connect volunteers with local agencies and nonprofits. The new website called “Get Connected” aims to help people find service organizations that need volunteers and donations. It also lets agencies promote their needs.
United Way of Mesa County has been collaborating with Western Colorado 2-1-1 on this project. The user-friendly site matches volunteers with opportunities that align with their interests and availability. Volunteer users can sign up to receive notifications right to their email when there are needs at their favorite organizations.
“We always have people asking us how they can get involved and that brings up a lot of questions. What are you interested in? What are your available hours? It’s just never been simple,” United Way of Mesa County’s Executive Director Julie Hinkson said. “With ‘Get Connected’ we’re excited to give them a place that will do that automatically.”
“It is a natural fit to have ‘Get Connected’ housed within the 2-1-1 website. 2-1-1 is the place to go to find community resources and now there is the added dimension of volunteer opportunities as well. Not only does ‘Get Connected’ link the community to volunteer opportunities, but it also assists agencies and organizations that may not be able to hire a full time person to manage volunteer recruitment,” Western Colorado 2-1-1’s Director Christie Higgins said.
On the agency side, users can create profiles that allow them to tell their stories and reach community members who are passionate about the service they provide. They can also list events such as fundraisers.
HomewardBound says it’s excited to potentially recruit volunteers through the site. “(It’s) another great way to get involved in our community as we continue encouraging a pathway home.”
 “Get Connected” will do more than just create matches among the service community and citizens; it hopes to foster relationships with consistent volunteers.
Diverse opportunities currently listed online include: Riverfront Trail System Patrol with Grand Junction Parks and Rec, Patient and Family Support at HopeWest, and Food Delivery Drivers at Gray Gourmet. More than 30 organizations currently have profiles.
Responding to needs is easy and can change a life. By getting people, nonprofits and businesses to work together, our area can be improved.
Click here to check out Get Connected: http://getconnected.wc211.org/.

Media Contact: Honora Swanson Bober, United Way of Mesa County
970-243-5364 or
honora@uwmesacounty.org

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