Archive for July, 2012

Part 3 of Michelle Nunn’s Cross Country Exploration of Volunteerism

Posted on July 23, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Today’s post originally appeared on the Points of Light blog on July 18, 2012.

My family has continued our cross-country journey to discover people at the center of change. As we have made our way from Buffalo to Columbus and Cincinnati, we have found a few common themes – collaboration across sectors is the essential ingredient for community success, organizations are increasingly focused on the idea of collective impact, and citizens have a great reservoir of compassion and energy for meaningful engagement.

As we pulled into Columbus Wednesday evening, the arts district where we were staying was alive with people. This vitality was a preview of what we discovered in Columbus. This relatively small city is home to the country’s number one rated zoo, library and science center. (We also discovered the ice cream at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. The experts may be right that Jeni’s has the #1 ice cream in the country. But we are determined to keep up the search!) (more…)

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Point of Light CEO’s Cross Country Service Journey part 1

Posted on July 16, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized, Volunteering is Hot! |

Today’s post originally appeared on the Points of Light  blog on July 16, 2012.

Buffalo was a terrific place to begin our journey across the country to visit with volunteers and citizen innovators. I met with community activists, AmeriCorps members and Alums who are driving civic change in Buffalo with their energy and idealism.

Britney McClain was my host and guide to explore PUSH Buffalo’s Green Development Zone. Britney is a poised, knowledgeable and passionate advocate for PUSH – People United for Sustainable Housing. PUSH was started by two young civic entrepreneurs who had a vision for transforming a neighborhood through community organizing, advocacy, and energy/green renovation. As Britney led me through the neighborhood, we visited community gardens that have been transformed from empty lots into flourishing vegetable gardens. The neighborhood was alive with community members working everywhere we turned. Young people were creating an urban farm and marketing their fresh produce. The organic, authentic power of community and of raw idealism put into action was everywhere – from founder Eric Walker to Opportunity Corps VISTA members. (more…)

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Points of Light CEO’s Cross Country Service Journey

Posted on July 16, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized, Volunteering is Hot! |

Michelle Nunn is currently the CEO or the Points of Light Institute.  She is also one of the founders of the HandsOn Network.  Volunteerism is very close to her heart.  She is taking a cross country road trip with her family and visiting HandsOn affiliates along the way.  Rumor has it she might stop by our small but mighty office.  Let’s follow her journey.  (more…)

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Screen for Success!

Posted on July 16, 2012. Filed under: Good Ideas Stick, Tips for HandsOn Partners |

This post is from the HandsOn Network Blog.

Recruiting volunteers is the first step to a successful volunteer program within your organization. Training your volunteers to be an effective part of your organization is equally important.

Once organizational, programming, and volunteer goals have been identified, position descriptions and standards for each program will need to be developed, as well. Think of volunteer program as similar to job training. You do not want an employee who does not meet certain standards for the listed project description. If the volunteer is unable to meet basic standards, reassignment may be necessary.


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4 Ideas to Mobilize Volunteers

Posted on July 12, 2012. Filed under: Good Ideas Stick, Tips for HandsOn Partners |

From the HandsOn Network Blog.

Today’s post comes from Gregg Michaelsen, Fundraising Consultant at Simple Fundraising Ideas. Gregg specializes in providing unique fundraising ideas for non-profit organizations.  Check out his site at to get ideas on how you can raise funds for your organization

I love setting up fundraisers.  There’s something fulfilling about them especially if the fundraiser is for a great cause.  If you have the right fundraising ideas, setting up a fundraiser is actually very easy.  After all, you just need to let people know that you need help for your cause.

Do you want to know the hard part?  It’s finding volunteers.  I’ve long faced the fact that people are busy.  They have their own responsibilities.  We can’t blame them if they’d rather perform their responsibilities that spend some time volunteering.

You don’t have to worry because there are still a lot of people who will be more than willing to help.  These are the people that have set aside time and resources just so they can help out your cause.  Needless to say, you have to make it worth their time and effort.

This is a common scenario.  The volunteers can’t perform their tasks because your organization wasn’t able to come up with the funds needed.  It’s really unfortunate to see volunteers that have nothing to eat or drink.  It’s unfortunate when they have to cough up their own money so in addition to donating their time and effort, they’re also donating money.  There’s nothing wrong with this if it’s their choice.  But if they’re forced to pay for their own transportation to and from different venues, that’s something that should be addressed.

This is why I came up with ideas that can help mobilize volunteers.

1. Team up with a local restaurant for the meals of your volunteers.

A lot of restaurants are more than willing to help in their own special way.  What better way to do it than to provide for the meals of the volunteers?  Approach the restaurants in the area and tell them that you’re offering them a unique opportunity to help out.  I personally like approaching pizzerias and a lot of them are more than willing to donate several boxes of pizza.  In return of the free meals, you can place a small banner in the fundraiser’s venue with the restaurant’s information on it.

2. Donate a van.

Look for someone who’s willing to lend his or her own van.  This is to make sure that the volunteers can go anywhere as needed without worrying about their transportation.

3. Use discount cards.

This is another favorite of mine.  Team up with a supermarket and hand out discount cards to your volunteers.  They’ll get discounts when they use the card for their purchases and the supermarket gets additional businesses.  In addition, the cards should accumulate points that you can later on convert to cash for additional funds for your organization.

4. Give volunteers allowance.

Now, this is not in any way payment for their services.  That will defeat the whole purpose of volunteerism.  This is just a small amount of “pocket money” just in case they need to buy something related to the fundraiser.  This way, they don’t need to spend their own money.

With these tips, you can easily mobilize volunteers and they’ll actually enjoy volunteering.  This is very important so they will volunteer again for your next fundraiser.

Check out these fundraising ideas to raise a lot of funds so you’ll have the funds needed to mobilize your volunteers.  Remember, their success is your success.

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Superheroes Needed! Grab Your Cape!

Posted on July 9, 2012. Filed under: Volunteering is Hot! |

The biggest superheroes are not on the big screen this summer. They’re the kids and teens transforming their communities.

Join generationOn and Hasbro in activating young people to change the world with The World Needs More Community Action Heroes!

From July 2 to August 20, 2012, teens and families can Pick a Cause, Take Action, and Report Back on any of generationOn’s 80 summer hero projects. Trailblazers can also put their own ideas into action and share their stories.

All heroes who report back are eligible to receive one of our $500 mini-grants to keep up the good work.

Heroes with the power of lightning speed are in luck; the first 2,000 to report on their projects will be sent a limited edition Community Action Heroes t-shirt or Hasbro gift! Beats a cape any day.

Check it all out at

Every hero has a moment of transformation.

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Salem Teens are Empowered

Posted on July 9, 2012. Filed under: Volunteering is Hot! |

Check out how powerful youth and caring adult partnerships can be to genuinely empower youth as leaders of right now! Thank you for believing, Saerom! Fantastic article!

Salem Teens are Empowered
By Saerom Yoo

It’s occurred to me recently that I’ve been writing a lot about our teens.
All over Salem, there are middle and high school students who are working hard to make a difference and to do it now.

Take South Salem High School, for example. Students in Kathy August’s leadership class are raising money for Habitat for Humanity homes in Nepal. In Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, 10th−graders are collecting shoe donations for homeless, runaway and at−risk peers. At Blanchet, three girls founded a fashion show to raise money for a local day shelter for homeless and runaway youths. They have successfully organized and put it on twice, complete with corporate sponsors, DJs and Becky Ross of “Project Runway” fame.

Just one week ago, I highlighted three teens who are on the board of The Phoenix Project, a new advocacy group against bullying. And there are many more projects and stories that haven’t been told yet.

Khela Singer, director of HandsOn Mid−Willamette Valley, said the civic engagement in youths can be seen everywhere, but the adults’ willingness to allow teens to lead is unique to Salem. “I definitely think that the youth of that particular generation − they’re really passionate and have a lot of initiative and they’re fearless,” Singer said. “The pitfall they run into is that adults don’t think that.” There’s a tendency for adults to think that today’s teens are entitled, selfish and apathetic, Singer said. Nonprofit organizations could also easily feel that teen volunteers could become a liability issue.
Not in Salem, though. “They’re given the space to lead here,” Singer says.

The area’s commitment to give youths service learning opportunities could be seen last summer. HandsOn, a volunteer action agency, received a $20,000 grant to provide training and professional development led by generationOn, a youth service movement.
Salem teens are empowered Twenty−one local private and public agencies participated in the training and learned about engaging youths and families as regular volunteers, and each has committed to provide service opportunities focused on youths
and families.

The second phase of the grant funded service projects during Make Your Mark Week of Service in October. In one week, HandsOn engaged 751 AVID and leadership students from one elementary, seven middle and two high schools in field trips and Service To Go projects.

The grant paid for supplies, transportation and HandsOn staff facilitated project logistics. Basically, at a time when teachers are asked to do more with less and transportation for field trips is difficult to fund, HandsOn made it as easy as possible to provide service opportunities to students. Singer said the generationOn grant fired up both the partner agencies and youths to work together. HandsOn currently is working to free up money in its budget to continue to facilitate projects through schools.

One South Salem High School student in particular has been on my mind. Her name is Hanelle Crites. I met her while reporting a story about her and her classmates’ efforts to raise money to build Habitat homes in Nepal.

She told me she wanted to go to medical school and become a doctor. But not just anywhere. She wants to open clinics in communities in developing countries, where she thinks quality health care is needed most. And her clinics wouldn’t just provide health care. It would be the center of the community that provides many social services.
People around her have pointed out that becoming a doctor would be good way to make money. Her response? “I’d live in a hut if I can help people,” she said., (503) 399−6673 or follow at

For further discussion of social services, go to Mid−Valley Social Services blog at

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Salem Interfaith Hospitality Network Helps Families

Posted on July 9, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Imagine living without a safe, warm place to sleep, without a place to enjoy a home-cooked meal or place to care for your children; this is what it means to be homeless. While the loss of a home is a crisis for anyone, it is particularly devastating for families. Traditional emergency shelters care for families with the men going one place and the women going another. Salem Interfaith Hospitality Network is a unique extension of our local faith community that works to meet that need.

Salem Interfaith Hospitality Network was established in 1999 as part of Family Promise based in New Jersey. They are a network of faith communities that share the responsibilities associated with helping families get on their feet and out of the cycle of homelessness. Currently they have 16 hosting congregations that welcome up to four families, for a week at a time on a rotating basis. They also have 15 support faith communities that assist host sites with additional volunteer and material support. After spending the night at a host church, families are transported to Salem Interfaith Hospitality Network’s Day Center in West Salem. There, adults receive intensive case management which provides assistance in finding the necessary services. Young children are looked after and older children attend school.

Check out their website, or like them on Facebook ( and see if your congregation would like to be a part of the answer to end family homelessness in the Salem area. Join their volunteer efforts and serve alongside your neighbors in faith! If your faith community is not a partner or you don’t attend a faith community – No problem! Check out the HandsOn website, to see the great volunteer opportunities available in their day center. Volunteers are needed for everything from mowing the lawn to being a “Shelter Grandparent” and spending time with children while their parents meet with case managers.

Salem Interfaith Hospitality Network strives to offer families basic needs and support  as they work towards gaining their independence while maintaining dignity and self-esteem. They cannot solve all problems for families but they can help them along their difficult journey.

Melissa Gibler is the program manager for HandsOn Mid-Willamette Valley—a program of Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency. She can be reached at (877) 372-4141, or


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Posted on July 3, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

MVVMA is pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for the first annual Celebrating Leaders in Volunteer Excellence Awards (CLOVEr Awards). The goal of the CLOVEr Awards, sponsored through the MVVMA, is to recognize volunteer administrators for their outstanding contributions to the profession and to their colleagues and for their promotion of quality volunteer experiences.  Volunteer administrators serving in Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, and Benton counties are eligible to be nominated.  Self-nominations are allowed and nominees are not required to be MVVMA members in order to be eligible.  We highly recommend MVVMA members consider submitting nominations however. 

Please look at each award category carefully, as the eligibility requirements varies slightly by category.  Award winners will be celebrated at an awards banquet in November 2012.

Award categories include:

  • Outstanding New Volunteer Administrator Award
  • Excellence in Volunteer Administration Award
  • Innovation in Volunteer Management Award
  • Four Leaf Clover Legacy Award

Nomination packet is attached or can be downloaded from the MVVMA website at Folks can also submit a nomination packet request to  Nominations must be postmarked by July 31, 2012.

Please help us spread the word about this special awards program and the opportunity to promote the profession of volunteer administration.

We will be seeking volunteers to assist with review and scoring of submissions.  Please contact a member of the committee if you are interested in helping: Tammy Baumann, Ashley Erb, Gretchen Jordan or Tammy McCammon.

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