United Way of Erie County and The Nonprofit Partnership launched its new online volunteer database this morning at a news conference.
Get Connected, or getconnected.unitedwayerie.org, matches aspiring volunteers with local opportunities based on their skill set and availability. Users can also follow local nonprofits and receive alerts when new volunteer listings are posted.
“This is the biggest idea that Erie has yet to get connected to,” said Bob Wooler, executive director of The Nonprofit Partnership, during the news conference. “This is the convergence of need and services.”
Wooler said Get Connected services both youth and adults, highlighting event work, short-term engagements and long-term projects for highly skilled volunteers.
Maj. Les Walter, of the Salvation Army, said the website launch will be especially helpful as the holiday season approaches. The Salvation Army is experiencing what Walter called “volunteer burnout,” as many longtime volunteers have “retired.”
“We’re hoping through this effort, more volunteers step up,” said Walter, during the news conference. “Even if money is tight, you can still give a few hours of your time.”
United Way of Erie County President Bill Jackson said the nonprofit is also looking to expand Get Connected”s reach into local schools. It can be used as a resource to help students fulfill volunteer hours, said Jackson.
Karen Seggi, executive director of Second Harvest, said she plans to use Get Connected with her two children.
“I want (my children) to learn that philanthropy is important,” said Seggi.
To learn more or make a volunteer profile, visit getconnected.unitedwayerie.org.
Image is a screenshot of Get Connected