Archive for January, 2010

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Give a Day. Get a Disney Day

January 22, 2010
Registration for the Give A Day. Get A Disney Day. program is now open to volunteers! Go to www.disneyparks.com/celebrate, sign up, and search for a volunteer activity near you. There’s never been a better time than now to start a new tradition of volunteering.

The Give A Day. Get A Disney Day. program celebrates the good work of volunteers by giving each of them one-day admission to a theme park at Disneyland® Resort or Walt Disney World® Resort, free. In 2010, we’re inspiring one million people to volunteer a day of service to a participating organization in their communities.

Now, volunteers can go to www.disneyparks.com to search for volunteer opportunities made available through HandsOn Network and sign up for a day of volunteer service. As the nation’s largest volunteer network, HandsOn Network has 250 on-the-ground volunteer action centers across the country and connects volunteers to more than 70,000 nonprofit agencies that need their help. Many of the opportunities will be projects that entire families can participate in together.

Opportunities for volunteering are being added daily, so continue to check in and see what new projects are available.

If you volunteer regularly with an organization and don’t see them listed in the database, or are looking for other ways to participate in the Give A Day. Get A Disney Day. program, click here for more information.

Click here for frequently asked questions about the participating organizations and volunteer activities available for this program.

We look forward to celebrating the spirit and power of volunteerism with you this year!

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Real Volunteers – Real Volunteering: Soup and a Smile

January 21, 2010

My first experience with the Volunteer Center was serving at Soup and a Smile. The volunteers I met were extremely kind and welcoming, but the best part was meeting the people we were there to feed. I met so many nice people who, despite their circumstance (whatever they might have been), were friendly, caring, and appreciative. I have never seen so many interesting people with so many wonderful stories surrounding me.

Although one would may associate poverty with hopelessness, the people I met were courageous and kind. At one point, a man with severe cataracts and graying hair placed a keyboard on the table where I was handing out apples and started playing a jazz tune. I told him I liked his playing and he smiled and thanked me. Where else does one encounter such enlightening examples of the human experience? Where did this man learn to play the piano and why was he playing to an audience of poverty-stricken people, himself among them?

I learned that we all have stories in our lives and experiences which make us who we are. Whichever side of the food counter you’re on, you have something to offer, some way to serve, and that man and I were really no different. We just ended up on different sides of the table. These are lessons about humanity that you can never learn unless you’re out there meeting the kind of people who can teach you them.

This story was written by Whitney Cox, 18 years old and soon to be attending college.

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From Volunteer to Employee

January 21, 2010

Howard is a retired executive assistant from Hollywood, CA. He lives in Summerlin and was partaking in all the festivities for the retired that Las Vegas offers. Drama class, singing class, etc. At one of our evening events Howard asked if we needed volunteers. “OF COURSE” was my reply. He completed the volunteer application, but due to prior commitments didn’t start volunteering for a few months.

“When I came to the Liberace Museum as a volunteer, the first place I worked was in the archives. It was the perfect place to learn about the man behind the costumes. Researching inquiries and working on special projects increased my respect and admiration for “Mr. Showmanship” Liberace.” says Howard.

We have an extensive archives, which is always in need of attention. Due to Howard’s previous employment, which required accuracy and a commitment to detail, we felt this was the perfect match. Howard volunteered 3 days a week. He has a very outgoing personality and doesn’t know a stranger. While volunteering he made friends with all the staff and we felt like he was staff opposed to a volunteer.

“After volunteering for a year and working special events in our Cabaret showroom, I was given the opportunity to actually work full time.” remembers Howard.

When a position became available the first one we thought of was Howard. When we offered him employment he wasn’t sure if he wanted to go back to work, after all he came to Las Vegas to retire, but he relented and now Howard has expanded his role to the point where he can fill in most Museum positions; he’s invaluable.

“Adding to my experience is the thrill of giving tours every week to our guests, some of whom have never heard of Liberace. It’s a thrill to see them leave with the knowledge of all he has done in his life both professionally and personally. My job is to help ensure that the Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts continues to live on.” says Howard.

This story was written by Shirley Swift, Manager, Community Relations for the Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts.

For opportunities to volunteer at the Liberace Museum click HERE.

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New Year, New Opportunities!

January 21, 2010

During 2009 volunteers logged over 4,000 volunteer hours through the Volunteer Center website. Currently more than 4,000 volunteers are registered on the site and if each volunteer gave back just one hour a month to our community that would equal 48,000 hours of volunteer service in southern Nevada. According to the Independent Sector those would equal an estimated value of $902,400. Imagine the change we would see! Don’t forget, the hours you track on the Volunteer Center site do not have to be from Volunteer Center projects. If you coach a team, lead a youth group, visit the invalid, those hours count and we want to track them!

The New Year tends to be a time of reflection, reviewing goals and making resolutions. Join us today in pledging your time and talents throughout 2010. Click HERE to pledge your hours and to let us know what is the #1 type of project you’re interested in volunteering your time for in 2010. Any other feedback is appreciated and can be sent to volunteer@uwsn.org.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
— Mahatma Gandhi (Indian philosopher, internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest, 1869-1948)