July 20th, 2024

Organization makes volunteering easier than ever with online platform

By Steffanie Costigan - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on February 14, 2024.

Herald photo by Steffanie Costigan Chelsea Eastman and Nicole Bosh help students enter a draw at the Volunteer Lethbridge booth during Kindness Week at Lethbridge College.

Just in time for Random Acts of Kindness Week, Volunteer Lethbridge has launched a revolutionary volunteer platform to connect community and charitable organizations.

In efforts to connect volunteers and non-profits, a community-driven platform at opportunities.volunterrlethbridge.com has been created which simplifies the connection between passionate volunteers and charitable organizations. And the timing is perfect, says Amanda Jensen, executive director of Volunteer Lethbridge.

“With our new online database of volunteer opportunities, it would be a really nice synergy to match that with International Kindness Week,” Jensen says. “So that’s what we’ve done. When we think of kindness, there’s so many ways that you can be kind, but I think that anyone could see a clear connection between volunteering and kindness.”

Jensen notes the new platform is not only easy to navigate and sign up for, it makes it easy for non-profit and charitable organizations to manage volunteer profiles.

“We’ve created this new database that has, at any given time, more than 250 opportunities on it, ranging from, arts, culture, and sport, to social services, etc. There’s really something there for everyone, and so many ways to get involved in the community, which we think is pretty synonymous with kindness.”

Jensen encourages volunteers to get in touch with Volunteer Lethbridge so they can be directed to the right organization smoothly.

“Any volunteer can apply directly, which we encourage them to do, but we also encourage them to be in touch with Volunteer Lethbridge, too, to get some advice, to get some coaching, to get the screening that they need for the position before they end up on the door of the non-profit organization. There are a couple of ways that a volunteer could engage through the new system.”

Volunteer Lethbridge has set up booths at Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge during Kindness Week, to bring awareness of the launch of their new platform. Jensen says there are volunteers wanting to help in the community but they may not know for which organizations to volunteer.

“There are some volunteers that are not quite sure what they want to do. They just know that they want to volunteer for various reasons, which could be that they want to meet new people. It could be that they are lonely and want to get out of the house a little bit more, it could be that they want to enhance their resume.

If they’re looking at a career projection, Volunteer Lethbridge can help them understand where best to be placed in order to meet the goals that they have set for themselves.

Wherever they choose to serve, Jensen encourages individuals to get involved in the community by sharing kindness.

“We’re asking people to acknowledge and recommit to informal volunteering. And so, that really just means the kindness of shoveling a bit of extra on your sidewalk, or helping somebody pick up their groceries, or whatever that looks like in an individual’s life. But it also could mean increasing more formal volunteering.”

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