PLATTSBURGH – Many people want to volunteer.
Several agencies need volunteers.
Yet forming a union from this want and need is not always as easy as one would guess, resulting in frustration and unmet needs on both sides.
That is why the United Way of the Adirondack Region has created the North Country Regional Volunteer Center. The website will help connect volunteers with opportunities and provide organizations with a venue to post their needs.
“Volunteering is a huge help to non-profits, and it is a big part of the United Way mission,” said Larry Pickreign II, Outreach Coordinator for the United Way of the Adirondack Region. “Most people don’t volunteer because they have never been asked.”
The primary focus of the volunteer center is to engage volunteers and solve community issues. The goal is to include all service organizations in their activities as well as provide support to community organizations throughout the state.
The North Country Regional Volunteer Center encompasses Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.
The center fortifies the system for area-wide data collection that enhances advocacy efforts, case statements for founders and recruitment of volunteers. The web-based volunteer center matches registered volunteers with non-profit agencies that have volunteer opportunities.
Volunteers and agencies can register at northcountryvolunteer.org.
Funds for the center came from a grant established by the New York State Commission on National and Community Service. There are 10 regional volunteer centers throughout the state.
“The Day of Caring has been a staple since before my time,” Pickreign said. “500 volunteers and 50 projects.
“When this grant came through we thought this would be a great opportunity to expand one day of caring to the whole year.”
Many agencies need volunteers, and prior to this, when someone called United Way, their name was taken with hopes they could be matched up with an organization.
“This is a free list of agencies,” Pickreign said.
Not only will the center connect volunteers with opportunities, there will also be training for use of the web site.
“We are still working out a few glitches,” said Kathy Snow, Director of Development for the United Way of the Adirondack Region.
The site will also generate a report detailing volunteer hours and number of volunteers, something that will be useful when writing grants.
“The agencies just write down their needs and the volunteers match those needs,” Snow said. “Volunteers feel part of the community when they do the work.”
There will be training for agencies that wish to use the free volunteer center and its website to input volunteer opportunities held on Aug. 24, from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. at the United Way office located at 45 Tom Miller Road, Plattsburgh. RSVP the United Way of the Adirondack Region, Inc. at 563-0028.