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Volunteer at CAS
October 1, 2012 permalink
Dufferin children's aid has hosted a meeting to recruit volunteers to help with child protection and allied charitible functions. According to the Volunteer Dufferin website, to be eligible you have to be jumping for joy with a permanent smile on your face.
One-stop-shop for Dufferin volunteers
It can be hard to find the right place to volunteer, but the solution is now as easy as one click of the mouse.
The county’s social service sector is proud to present volunteerdufferin.ca, which was launched at Dufferin Child and Family Services (DCAFS) on Wednesday (Sept. 26). The new website acts as a portal between potential volunteers and the broad range of organizations across Dufferin in need of their services.
“This is like the brokerage between you and the organization that needs you,” said project co-ordinator Jenny Carver. “It is kind of like the linking piece.”
The impetus behind the idea took flight about a year-and-a-half ago, when the Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County received a $66,200 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
After bringing several of Dufferin’s various agencies on board, the website was launched this week.
“Hopefully, it just makes it so much easier for people to find volunteer opportunities by having one place to go to,” said Laurie Turza, executive director of the local Alzheimer Society. “And so much easier for organizations to find volunteers with one place to find them.”
It isn’t the first time Dufferin has attempted to consolidate volunteerism in one fell swoop. As Turza explained, there used to be a volunteer centre in Dufferin, but agencies found the model didn’t fit in with the largely rural community.
“Now, everybody is so technologically connected,” she said. “It was the logical way to go to give it another shot at boosting volunteerism in Dufferin.”
Carver said other areas like Peel Region or Guelph don’t rely on volunteers as heavily as Dufferin County. Locally, agencies depend on people donating their time, skills and efforts.
Volunteers hail from both ends of the population pyramid and in-between, ranging from retirees to youth.
“It is a huge volunteer-using community,” Carver said, referring to Dufferin. “In practically every sector, there is a lot of shoestring funding, so building up the capacity for volunteer backup is really important.”
The volunteer opportunities currently listed on the site range anywhere from cleaning up the Island Lake Conservation Area to delivering with Meals on Wheels, being a Big Brother or Big Sister, or mentoring people on a board of directors.
Since a broad range of people will likely visit the site, it has to be user friendly. After studying similar sites, Carver said the Dufferin site is more web-surfer friendly than most.
For instance, the site basically has volunteering opportunities set up like features used by Amazon or eBay. Instead of “add to cart,” potential volunteers can simply click on “I’m Interested” for more information, or to send an email directly to the organization.
“It gives you a chance to really look at different opportunities and say that one is really interesting,” Carver said. “There has never been a chance to do that in Dufferin before.”
The new website isn’t just about helping people find the right place to volunteer. It is also revolves around helping organizations consolidate their various volunteer searches under one IP address.
“There is a lot of information on there that hopefully will boost people’s idea of what volunteerism can be,” Turza said. “We hope to really raise the number of volunteers in Dufferin because it will be so much easier.”
For more information, visit volunteerdufferin.ca, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-940-1271.
Source: Orangeville Banner