Find the right opportunity to get engaged
Introducing the United Way Volunteer Center!

Post Diana Vo

Last week, I volunteered my time at Women’s Empowerment by leading a course on relationship building in the workplace for the new “Get a Job Kit” training program. I have to be honest, initially I said, ‘you want me to lead what?’ But I did my research, put together my presentation and went for it. I have to tell you, it was one of the most proud moments of my life when the women I spoke to related to my material, asked the best questions and thanked me for the valuable information. I volunteered my time and made a difference. If just one of the women in the course uses any of the skills I offered to help with a new career, I’m simply humbled and honored.

All of us have skills to offer whether we realize it or not. It may not being leading a course, but you might be excellent with a hammer or paint roller, maybe you excel at turning a messy closet into an organized and useful space. Maybe you are a gardener and want to help with community garden builds? The point is, you can offer something. Multiple studies show Sacramento has a much lower volunteer rate than other comparable cities across the county, so the time is now to get involved and change these numbers. But how do you get connected to the right opportunity for you? Well, I am proud to introduce your new solution for that: the United Way Volunteer Center.

The United Way Volunteer Center utilizes the Get Connected software, an easy-to-use web-based platform that matches the right donors, advocates, and volunteers with the right opportunities in our community. What is most exciting is the software allows for so much more than just volunteer opportunities. Volunteers, donors and the community at large can use the United Way Volunteer Center to find ways to volunteer to make a real difference, give unused materials and household items to agencies in need of donations, learn about upcoming special events and fundraisers, and advocate for causes that require a passionate voice.

United Way California Capital Region has brought the Volunteer Center to the community to increase our capacity for community engagement in our mission to improve people’s lives in our region by mobilizing and integrating resources. The software is a very user friendly volunteer engagement and management platform that helps nonprofits find and pair volunteers with the right volunteer opportunities. Much like Facebook, local nonprofit organizations create profiles that highlight their mission statements, contact information, needs, and events. Likewise, interested volunteers create individual profiles specifically tailored to their interests, join volunteer groups, become fans of participating agencies, and track nonprofit needs and events.

Needless to say, we’re very excited about bringing this resource to the community and making it much easier for folks to get connected to causes they care about. Before launch, we have 50+ organizations with opportunities listed. Over the new few months, we expect this number to climb quickly to include at minimum all of United Way’s 160 certified nonprofit partners. You see, it makes sense. We work closely with this high number of local nonprofits who have needs. And at the same time, we work with over 400 companies in our region through our workplace giving and community engagement efforts. This software will marry the two and allow for more great stuff to happen in our community. So how will you utilize the United Way Volunteer Center? Get started today: volunteercenter.uwccr.org. Thank you in advance for your commitment to our community!

Cole Forstedt is the Director of Volunteerism and Community Engagement at United Way California Capital Region. Proudly, Cole strives to set an example by volunteering his time with multiple organizations in different capacities, because, well, it’s the right thing to do. Get in touch directly with questions or feedback about the United Way Volunteer Center by emailing cole.forstedt@uwccr.org.