Fred Barrie prepares his talk to a Nevada Volunteers Lunch n' Learn about his new volunteer tracking software.

National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate volunteers, and Nevada Volunteers has a gem of a volunteer to celebrate. Fred Barrie is a highly talented professional who is the best example ever of what a skilled volunteer can add to an organization. Skilled volunteers are a valuable asset, bringing know-how and experience to an organization to supplement the expertise of staff. Sometimes a skilled volunteer goes way beyond that capacity, propelling the organization into completely new realms of possibility. That is what Fred has done for Nevada Volunteers, and why we want to give him a colossal National Volunteer Week thanks!

Fred is a computer programmer who loves to explore new dimensions in software programming. He’s been working with computers for over 20 years and can’t get enough of them, it seems. When he heard our Volunteer Development Coordinator, Janet Wright, talk about the need for a good volunteer tracking software, Fred said, “I can do that.”

Over 250 hours later, Fred has a basic program in the testing phase. He is working closely with a local nonprofit to understand what adjustments need to be made before giving it wider exposure. When it is finished, Fred’s program will enable Nevada Volunteers and their nonprofit partners to gather more accurate statistics about volunteerism in Nevada. It is a priceless gift to our state.

Skilled volunteers are often retired professionals who have both time and talent to share. Fred’s gift is even more remarkable because he works full-time. That has sometimes been difficult. “The most frustrating part was not having enough time to work on this project with all of my other commitments,” he said. And yet, he persevered.

As he spoke about his program with volunteer coordinators at our recent Lunch N’ Learn, you could see it on his face—the thrill of accomplishment. It’s been good for him. He knows it. “I had to create a Graphical User Interface that I normally don’t work on. I also have learned a new way to build and package software packages that my company is contemplating using in the future,” he said. “Plus, I get to use my professional skills to solve a problem for the community.” And from hearing Fred speak, I can sum up the result in one word: satisfaction.

Being a skilled volunteer has expanded Fred’s horizons while adding immense potential to the ability of Nevada Volunteers to carry out is volunteer initiative. Volunteering usually works out that way. That gives us a double reason to celebrate his service to the state.

So, thank you, Fred, so much!!! Volunteers like you are priceless—way beyond what money can buy.

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