It is with great excitement that we announce the launch of our new Volunteer Program! To celebrate this milestone, we sat down with our Volunteer Coordinator, Grace, who is spearheading the program and will be organizing the volunteer events as the program takes off.
What made you want to work with volunteers?
When I was in college, I did a lot of work with underserved high school students navigating the college application process. I enjoyed seeing the impact my work had and became the leader of the group to get more involved. In this role, I organized all the college volunteers while working with students myself. I learned that people are really excited and motivated by volunteering. This experience helped me decide to continue working with volunteers and explore working in the nonprofit industry after graduation.
How long have you been working as the Volunteer Coordinator at CUCS?
I started as CUCS’s first ever Volunteer Coordinator in November 2017. The Volunteer Program is new to CUCS, so prior to its launch in July, I worked closely with the Development and Communications team to create the program essentially from scratch.
Together we established a strategy to cultivate volunteers, created a webpage and handbook for the program, and hammered out all of the legal and logistical requirements involved with having volunteers. I also traveled our program sites to meet with program directors to determine where they saw a need for the volunteers the new program would bring in. There were so many different aspects to work through so the process was really interesting and fun!
What are you most excited for in watching the Volunteer Program take shape?
I am excited by how much potential there is for this program to develop. Our programs are genuinely excited to have volunteers work to help make their clients feel safe and at home. Each has unique needs so there are many possible projects volunteer groups can work on. These include resume and interview workshops, beautification projects, outdoor game days and art classes, and meal serving at summer barbeques and holiday events.
We have this great opportunity to shape the Volunteer Program and make it something that will have a lasting impact on our clients, programs and volunteers themselves. It will be exciting to see how everything unfolds.
Why do you think it is important for people to volunteer?
I think volunteering allows people to really connect to their communities, meet new people, and learn about issues that may be a bit hidden to them otherwise. It is also a great way to demonstrate to the community that you care. Volunteering shows that building brighter futures is a project we are all responsible for and all grow from participating in. I have loved seeing how beneficial volunteering can be both to the volunteers and the people they are serving.
How should someone interested in volunteering with CUCS get in touch?
Right now we work with corporate volunteers and other large groups at many of programs across the city. If you have a group that is interested in getting involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our webpage to learn more!