UW Volunteer Center to link workers, needs
by Special to the Banner
Jun 18, 2013 | 617 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JAYNESE WADDELL explains the United Way’s Volunteer Center to those attending a recent informational session on the online program. Training sessions are scheduled for this month and the month of July, with the center being officially available on Aug. 1. Submitted photo
JAYNESE WADDELL explains the United Way’s Volunteer Center to those attending a recent informational session on the online program. Training sessions are scheduled for this month and the month of July, with the center being officially available on Aug. 1. Submitted photo
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“May I never get too busy in my own affairs that I fail to respond to the needs of others with kindness and compassion," U.S. President Thomas Jefferson was once quoted as saying. “Every human being feels pleasure in doing well to another.”

Matt Ryerson, president and CEO of United Way of Bradley County, believes the sentiment is as true today as during Jefferson’s presidential years.

“These are words of our past president and it speaks the truth of our human nature,” Ryerson said. “People have peace in their hearts and a sense of belonging to society when they help each other. This desire to provide aid to others in need fills our lives with joy and great satisfaction knowing that we helped somebody. When people are in need of help, they tell their friends by word of mouth or a community bulletin board.”

Starting Aug. 1, the United Way’s Volunteer Center will be an online community bulletin board for people in need of a service. Nonprofit schools, hospitals and nursing homes will be able to use the online Volunteer Center to spread the word about ways community members can get involved with their work and serve those in need. The inspiration to start the Volunteer Center was derived from Lee University’s Leonard Center, which helps Lee University students find opportunities to serve in the community.

The Volunteer Center recently held a successful kickoff event for the nonprofits that will be involved in posting volunteer opportunities on the website. With approximately 50 people attending the event, it was considered a promising start for informing the community of the upcoming training events and overall goal of the Volunteer Center.

“The Volunteer Center was extremely well received by the guests and the most common response to this phenomenal resource was, ‘We should have had this tool available five years ago!’” Ryerson said.

“The United Way of Bradley County is thrilled to be offering this incredible resource that will connect community members to community needs,” Volunteer Center Coordinator Jaynese Waddell said. “This will revolutionize the way in which volunteers get connected with the nonprofit community and with community needs.”

The United Way’s Volunteer Center will be available and completely functional, effective Aug. 1, for both volunteers and organizations with service needs. The website is www.volunteerocoee.org. When the site is up, volunteers can visit the website and browse the many different organizations and opportunities where they can serve.

When an organization has a volunteer service opportunity that it would like to have placed on the online Volunteer Center database, the organization will need to attend a training session on learning how to input and update the information online. The United Way of Bradley County will be hosting the training sessions in its conference room, located at 85 Ocoee St. SE, Cleveland TN 37311. The times and dates for the training sessions are:

- Wednesday, June 19, 2 to 4 p.m.;

- Tuesday, June 25, 9 to 11 a.m.;

- Monday, July 1, 10 a.m. to noon;

- Tuesday, July 9, 9 to 11 a.m.;

- Thursday, July 18, 1 to 3 p.m.; and

- Thursday, July 25, 2 to 4 p.m.

To sign up for a training session, go to www.cbcan.com or call Waddell at 423-479-2020.