The Volunteer Road
With the 2014 Governor’s Points of Light Award nomination process open, we wanted to take a moment to recognize past recipients and highlight their continued success in making Nevada a better place to live through volunteerism. This week, we are taking a look at Three Square Food Bank, the 2011 Governor’s Points of Light Award recipient in the Nonprofit/Community Organization Volunteer Program category.
It was easy to see in Three Square Food Bank’s nomination for the 2011 Governor’s Points of Light Awards, that the organization had made great strides since its opening in 2007 and positioned itself to be at the forefront of the fight against hunger in Southern Nevada.
Hunger was then and still is a huge problem in Las Vegas with the excessive unemployment and foreclosure rates in the midst of economic distress. It was evident to see that Southern Nevada families were struggling with putting food on the table everyday. That’s where Three Square Food Bank stepped in.
Nevada Volunteers is all about volunteerism and, no, despite our name, we don’t have a huge group of volunteers that we directly manage. While we would love to claim all the wonderful volunteers in our state as our own, we focus our efforts on working with those businesses and nonprofits and municipalities that call for volunteers. We want those organizations to provide a well-organized, meaningful, and impacting volunteer experience.
How many times does a friend say, “well I tried to help, but they didn’t need me” or “no one called me back” or “I offered suggestions but no one wanted to listen”. These are the small actions—or inactions—that often turn people away from volunteering. Our goal is to minimize these in favor of the more positive responses that we also hear—“I can’t believe how attached I have become to this project”, or “I didn’t think what I did would make such a difference” or “it is such a joy for me to volunteer…”.
Across the nation organizations are tackling complicated issues with volunteerism and engaged citizenry. This blog is an opportunity for us at Nevada Volunteers to share with you exemplary leadership using volunteerism as a solution to Nevada’s unmet needs.
I recently had the opportunity to talk with Brian Knudsen, the City of Las Vegas Community Resources Manager, about an initiative in Southern Nevada, a partnership of organizations, volunteers, and national service programs working together to create change. Downtown Achieves is a group of more than 200 partners are participating in the collective impact approach to ensuring Academic Success for Every Student.
Here Brian shares some of the key points of the Downtown Achieves Collective Impact project:
This year was the 2nd Annual Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service, a day dedicated to recognizing those in National Service that are making a difference in communities across the nation. This year’s was successful, not only in Nevada but across the country. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, 832 mayors participated in 2013 increased to 1,760 mayors this year.
Nevada mayors jumped on board to proclaim April 1, 2014 as a special day in Fallon, Reno, Sparks, Winnemucca, Las Vegas, Carson City, North Las Vegas, Wells and Henderson. It is inspiring and encouraging to see our cities’ leaders understanding and recognizing the impact National Service makes in their cities. Thank you to those that participated this year!
Find out more about Service-Learning today!
University of Nevada, Reno
Office of Service Learning and Civic Engagement
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Office of Civic Engagement and Diversity
As the Executive Director of Nevada Volunteers, I get to see and be part of the vision that organizations are creating for Nevada through volunteerism. It is remarkable and inspiring to see where nonprofits, corporations, and education systems are making an impact through volunteerism.
This month, across the nation organizations are highlighting the impact of National Service and volunteerism in education. Nevada commits significant national service resources to provide school support for parent engagement, school readiness, and to encourage youth to go to college.
I could talk about all the ways we do this, but instead I asked University of Nevada President Marc Johnson to share with us how they are building future Nevada leaders who understand the importance of service.
The University of Nevada, Reno instituted the Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement in the 2012-13 year and it became operational in 2013-14. Why did the University decide to invest in service learning for students at the University of Nevada, Reno?
During this Valentine’s Week, we want to share some of the reasons Nevada Volunteers LOVES Nevada’s Volunteers. We hope that you’ll take a moment to see how special the volunteers are that are making an impact in our communities. We would LOVE for you to fall in LOVE with volunteerism too!
Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum
The Discovery LOVES our volunteers! We have a committed, diverse and energetic group that helps us provide spectacular learning opportunities to our community. Our volunteers are our biggest asset and we appreciate all the time, love and excitement they bring every day to our organization. Volunteers do everything from leading exciting science demonstrations with our visitors, helping create beautiful works of art, reading to children and working closely with our administration staff behind the scenes to make sure we are able to provide amazing experiences to all who visit. We even have a little fun along the way! Paid staff and Volunteer staff truly are a team! To join the Discovery volunteer team, contact Stephanie D’Arcy: firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-398-5953.
With it being Valentine’s Week, Nevada Volunteers thought it would be a fun to share different reasons why we <3 (heart) volunteerism.
February is a month full of hearts, the color red, and love! It’s also American Heart Month. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States – 1 in 4 deaths can be attributed to health disease.
The good news? Heart disease can be prevented and volunteerism can help!
According to the study “Health Benefits of Volunteering” from the Corporation for National and Community Service, research shows volunteering isn’t just great for the “heart and soul” of an individual, but really the health of an individual.
It’s often said that giving is better than receiving. When individuals volunteer, it creates a sense of purpose, need, and satisfaction in helping provide a service to others in need. Research shows that those who give services receive more health benefits than those who receive services.
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