Archive for March, 2012

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Tax Time Crunch Time

March 30, 2012

Even if you missed our Super Saturday events, you can still have your taxes prepared for free if your household income is under $50,000. There are over 15 locations throughout southern Nevada providing this vital community service. To find the site nearest you, please visit www.EKSNV.org. April 15th is rapidly approaching, so make sure you act early to take advantage of this program!

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Be the Change by Being a Leader

March 30, 2012

In conjunction with National Volunteer Week, United Way of Southern Nevada’s Volunteer Center is excited to launch our new training program: Volunteer Leader Institute!

VLI empowers individuals to lead service projects for a group, organization, or corporate team. Volunteer Leaders learn relevant leadership skills and theory that will enable them to manage diverse groups of volunteers. Upon completion of Volunteer Leader Institute, individuals will understand how to coordinate the logistics of a project, manage volunteers, track volunteers, and debrief the service experience.

This two-hour training is a must for volunteers who want to take their commitment to the next level. All VLI graduates will receive a certificate, and must be willing to serve as a project leader for future UWSN Volunteer Center days of service, corporate service projects, and other events.

Volunteer Leaders are vital to helping create and facilitate large-scale service opportunities in southern Nevada. The skills gained through the VLI will empower individuals to lead projects with the Volunteer Center and other organizations.

The Volunteer Leader Institute kicks off on April 19. Make sure to register early as space is limited to 20 participants. To register, click here.

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Youth Volunteer Recognition Ceremony

March 30, 2012

NGAGE (Next Generation Actively Gaining Experience) wrapped up its first year of service hour submissions on April 1, 2012. The program is open to all high school students in southern Nevada who participate in community service. A recognition ceremony for these participants will be held at Fashion Show in May.

For more information on the NGAGE program, click here.  To schedule a presentation at your school or community organization for the next year of service, please contact TiegenK@uwsn.org.

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Calling All Writers!

March 30, 2012
ImageThis month, United Way of Southern Nevada’s Volunteer Center is holding two workshops to help all you aspiring volunteer bloggers out there!  The 90-minute training will introduce you to online blogging, refine your writing skills, and boost your composition confidence.  To register for this fun and informative course, please click on the date you’d like to attend:

Thursday, April 5, 12:00pm – 1:30pm

Wednesday, April 11, 3:30pm – 5:00pm

If you have any questions about the curriculum, please contactTiegenK@uwsn.org.  To check out our blog, click here.
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It’s Easy Being Green

March 13, 2012

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, mobilized 20 million Americans and is often credited with launching the modern environmental movement. 22 years later more than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

Earth Day Network works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden and diversify this movement. Whether your organization wants to develop recycling programs in underserved neighborhoods or promote green economic policies, celebrating Earth Day with an environmentally-conscious event is a perfect way to rally support for your cause.

Have a project planned on or near April 22, 2102? Let us know about it by contacting Beth Greco at BethG@uwsn.org.

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Partner Staff Technology Training

March 12, 2012

In November, United Way of Southern Nevada’s Volunteer Center launched its new and improved volunteer management website. This new system gives you more resources including the ability to post opportunities electronically, track volunteer hours, and run volunteer statistics and reports.

With this transition, we are asking our partners to attend a training on the new system over the next few months. The training will cover posting opportunities, running reports, tracking volunteer hours, and other upgrades to the software. These trainings will be 2 hours long and will take place at United Way of Southern Nevada. Feel free to bring lunch!

If you have attended the Partner Staff Technology training already, you do not need to attend.

Please click on an upcoming date to register for the training:

Wednesday March 28th from 11:00am-1:00pm

Tuesday April 10th from 11:00am-1:00pm

Wednesday April 11th from 11:00am-1:00pm

Thursday May 3rd from 3:00pm-5:00pm

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National Volunteer Week: 8 Days of Service

March 9, 2012

National Volunteer Week encourages people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities.  This year United Way of Southern Nevada’s Volunteer Center is celebrating National Volunteer Week by sponsoring eight days of service.  Each day features volunteer opportunities that revolve around a different social cause. Volunteers can choose their preferred impact area and sign up for an opportunity that is just right for them:

Sunday, April 15  – Health

Monday, April 16 – Veterans Affairs

Tuesday, April 17 – Hunger & Homelessness

Wednesday, April 18 – Youth & Education

Thursday, April 19 – Potpourri

Friday, April 20 – Arts & Culture

Saturday, April 21 – Environment

Sunday, April 22 – Animals

Partnering agencies are asked to provide awareness about the importance of volunteerism and services offered in Southern Nevada. In addition to receiving new volunteers and advocates, partners will also gain media exposure and public relations surrounding the event.

To be a part of National Volunteer week, contact Beth Greco at BethG@uwsn.org.

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Your Circle of Resources

March 5, 2012


from
Volunteer Recruitment (and Membership Development) Book, Third Edition by Susan J. Ellis

One of my favorite suggestions for volunteer recruitment is also one of the simplest: start with the resources in closest proximity to your agency. What untapped treasures might be across the street or on the next block?

Picture your facility as the center of a bull’s eye, with concentric circles around it. Now do the following. If you are in an urban area, walk out your front door with a clipboard and pen (take along a volunteer for company). If you are more rural, do this by driving. The point is to walk completely around the block (or drive in a tight circle) and write down everything you see: stores, businesses, parking lots, churches, apartment houses, schools, etc.

It is vital to actually do this action physically, even if you feel reasonably sure that you know what is in your neighborhood. Why? Because you will soon discover that:

1) you tend to be aware only of the things that are present in the one direction that you take to work every day;

2) after a while you no longer see what you are looking at; and

3) some of the things you see may not be identifiable.

An example of this last point is passing a company with the name “Mighty Corporation” emblazoned on a large sign. Do you know from that name what work this company does? Probably not.

After you have inventoried everything on your street, the two side streets, and the street in back of you, move on to a two-block radius and do the same. As time permits, keep going in widening concentric circles. If you are driving, keep taking right (or left!) turns and inventory a quarter-mile radius, then a half-mile radius, etc. Note that if your offices are in a high-rise building, your first task is to take the elevator to each floor and see who your neighbors are above and below you.

You may be skeptical about this recommendation, but I assure you that you will find a number of “neighbors” that you did not know you had. And this means potential resources…

Making contact with your neighbors is much easier than approaching resources across town. After all, it is always legitimate to make the acquaintance of folks nearby. Develop a special flyer or letter introducing your agency and address it to: “Our neighbors.” Explain the services you offer (include a brochure if you have one) and, if appropriate, welcome visitors. Depending on your comfort level and on the culture of your neighborhood, mail the materials in small batches and follow up within a week by phone, or go in person to deliver the material.

Do not feel that these are “cold calls.” As a representative of your organization, you want to spread the word about the good work that you do. It will be of benefit to your neighbors to be better informed about an agency in such close proximity. And, for both sides, there is great potential to share resources. Your opening line is: “Hi. Do you realize that we can see your top floor from our backyard?” Or some variation on that theme.

Express as much genuine interest in your neighbors as you wish them to show in you. Ask questions about their work and constituents. Perhaps there is some help that you can offer to them. Maybe a collaborative effort can help everyone. Is there something you can barter or exchange? What goes around, comes around. When you demonstrate good neighborliness, it sets the tone for future relationships.

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Global Youth Service Day

March 5, 2012

Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) is an annual campaign that celebrates and mobilizes the millions of young people who improve their communities through service and service-learning. Established in 1988, GYSD is the largest and longest-running service event in the world, and the only day of service dedicated to children and youth.

United Way of Southern Nevada is celebrating GYSD April 20-22, 2012 by sponsoring a “That’s How We Roll” Paper Drive.  Many needy families in the Las Vegas Valley visit UWSN’s partner agencies in search of food or clothing.  These families are also in dire need of paper products: toilet paper, diapers, paper towels, etc.

UWSN’s Volunteer Center is encouraging its network of high school volunteers to organize paper donation drives at their schools.  These students are part of the NGAGE program (Next Generation Actively Gaining Experience), which encourages volunteerism as well as recognizes high school students who give a minimum of 100 service hours per year.  If you would like more information on the NGAGE program, click here.

Does your organization utilize volunteers under the age of eighteen?  Do you have a project that would be perfect for this age group?  Or does your organization need the items collected during the “That’s How We Roll” Paper Drive?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, please contact the NGAGE Coordinator at TiegenK@uwsn.org.