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The Volunteer Road

30Jun 15

Are you a volunteer coordinator? WE NEED YOU (and your volunteers!)…

Are you a volunteer coordinator? WE NEED YOU (and your volunteers!) to help us get a better picture of volunteers and volunteerism in Nevada. Are you ready to help?

Dear Volunteer Coordinators:

Nevada’s volunteer participation rate (20.7%) is one of the lowest in the nation and means that we are currently ranked 49th in the country. UNLV researchers are collaborating with United Way of Southern Nevada and Nevada Volunteers, The Governor’s Commission on Service, to improve the climate of volunteerism in the State. We’d like to invite you to participate in our effort as well.

As an organization that utilizes volunteers, you know how volunteering makes a real difference in our community. Would your organization be interested in disseminating a survey about volunteerism to your volunteers? The goal of the survey is to help us better understand volunteerism in Nevada and strategize about how to improve our volunteerism rate. We are interested in helping our community partners and would be happy to share the aggregated results of the survey with you.


15May 15

Service + Enterprise = Success!

Servicean act of helpful activity; help; aid

Enterprisea project undertaken or to be undertaken, especially one that is important or difficult or that requires boldness or energy

These two terms hint at the meaning behind the Service Enterprise process—a process that transforms a nonprofit or municipal entity into a high-performing, effective organization that utilizes the skills of volunteers to better meet needs in the community. Despite widespread use of volunteers, did you know that only 11% of organizations function as a Service Enterprise?

Those organizations functioning as service enterprises are more adaptable (a highly prized attribute in today’s fast-changing world), more flexible, and leverage their financial resources up to 6 times more than a comparable organization. Good volunteer engagement is more than traditional volunteer management training, yet that’s where many organizations focus their efforts. Recent research tells us that taking a broad organizational approach means better results for our volunteers and our organizational effectiveness.

15Oct 14

Nevada’s 150 Points of Light!

Each year, Nevada Volunteers recognizes “Points of Light” throughout our state – individuals and organizations who, through their dedicated efforts, shine the “Light” of volunteerism and brighten the lives of others. This year, Nevada Volunteers will honor 150 years worth of “Points of Light” in conjunction with the Governor’s Points of Lights Awards and the Silver State’s 150th birthday, by recognizing 150 Points of Light throughout our great state.

Please join us in recognizing…

  • Patricia Martin, a native Nevadan, retired to Lamoille, Nevada after having lived in other states for many years. In true retirement fashion, she immediately engaged in getting to know her community. Her involvement has led to her being an active member of the Lamoille Women’s Club taking a leadership role in the country fair lemonade stands and the fall soup fundraiser to only name a few of her roles. Not having enough to do in retirement, she now volunteers for multiple shifts at the Lamoille Post Office to help keep that community service open for her Nevada town. In all her efforts she engages her kids and grand kids, building an ethic of service for future Nevadans too.
  • (more…)

19Aug 14

Let’s give a round of applause to…

Join us in congratulating one of our finalists in the Individual – Rural Nevada category of the Governor’s Points of Light, Sandy Buchanan!

SandyBuchananSandy has been a Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission volunteer for 11 years, amassing over 5,000 hours of volunteerism and annually puts in over 400 service hours a year!

Sandy fills several critical needs for homeless and abused women in the community. She has developed a course of study on domestic violence for the women in the Mission’s recovery program based on her book, The Warning Light. In educating women who have been affected by domestic abuse, Sandy’s class provides an opportunity for the women to develop healthy relationships in our community. These women in turn give back by volunteering and reaching out to other women in need.

Sandy goes to great lengths to connect with and encourage less fortunate women. She teaches a weekly Bible study to provide hope and encouragement to the homeless women who dine and take shelter at the Mission, while also spending time on the streets talking to the women and to “experience what they experience” before joining them for their dinner at the Mission.

18Aug 14

Join us in congratulating…

Join us in congratulating one of our finalists in the Individual – Northern Nevada category of the Governor’s Points of Light, Michael Allen!

Michael AllenMichael has been a dedicated volunteer for Northern Nevada HOPES since 2010. His past contributions to the agency have included creating a Community Vegetable Garden with availability to fresh food as well as helping individuals gain access to the HOPES Resource Center where communal services such as a computer lab, art space and a media library were provided to clients in need. More recently, Michael has served the HOPES staff while they began the Change Point, Harm Reduction Center, which is the first Syringe Services Program (SSP) to be started in the State of Nevada. During 2013, Michael generously donated over 700 volunteer hours to HOPES with the Harm Reduction and Outreach Department and without his efforts the program could not have attained its extraordinary success!

In addition to all his exceptional volunteer duties, he has taken a lead role as an advocate and educator of transgender health care needs and has gone out of his way to create a culturally sensitive space here at HOPES that provides an exceptional environment that embraces equality.

13Aug 14

Finalists of the 2014 Governor’s Points of Light Awards

Not only does this year commemorate the 150th anniversary of our Silver State, but it is also the 20th Anniversary of AmeriCorps and Nevada Volunteers. Throughout the years, we have recognized incredible volunteers, volunteer programs, and volunteer managers, and this year will be no different!

We hope that you enjoy finding out more about each finalist as we highlight them in the weeks leading up to the Governor’s Points of Light Awards Ceremony. Governor’s Points of Light finalists exemplify volunteerism through their hard work and effort to make our communities a better place to live, work, and play. Reading about them, touched our hearts and we expect it will touch yours heart too. Join us in giving them applause and accolades in the coming month and on September 18th!

May their efforts encourage you to continue in your volunteer efforts, or even begin your volunteer journey today!

Join us in congratulating Southwest Gas Corporation as a finalist in the Corporate/Business Volunteer Program category…

07May 14

2011 Governor’s Points of Light Recipient Continues to Make Huge Strides Against Hunger through Volunteers

Three Square Food Bank

Governor Brian Sandoval with 2011 Governor’s Points of Light Award recipient Three Square Food Bank’s Volunteer Coordinator, Patti Johnson (middle) and CEO, Brian Burton (right).

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.

21Apr 14

Why Invest in Volunteers?

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…”.

09Apr 14

City of Las Vegas Creates Change Through Service

City of Las Vegas understands the importance of service.  Mayor Goodman proclaimed April 1st as National Service Recognition Day. (Photo with Mayor Goodman, United Way of Southern Nevada CEO Cass Palmer, and AmeriCorps member.)

City of Las Vegas understands the importance of service. Mayor Goodman proclaimed April 1st as National Service Recognition Day. (Photo with Mayor Goodman, United Way of Southern Nevada CEO Cass Palmer, and AmeriCorps member.)

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:

02Apr 14

A Successful Mayor’s Day of Recognition in Nevada!

Sparks City Council

Mayor Geno Martini in Sparks, Nevada

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.

Fallon's Mayor Ken Tedford

Mayor Ken Tedford in Fallon, Nevada

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!



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