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Article Archive >> Community

Get Into the Spirit of the Holidays: Volunteer!

Get Into the Spirit of the Holidays: Volunteer!

(ARA)- Whatever the occasion--Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or simply the arrival of the New Year--'tis the season for creating new memories and building on old traditions. To make this season even more memorable, consider spreading goodwill through volunteer service.
Thanks to the Internet, and a nonprofit Web site called VolunteerMatch, finding an organization in need of volunteer help has never been easier. VolunteerMatch is dedicated to bringing community service organizations and volunteers together.
The simplicity of the VolunteerMatch service has already helped more than 35,000 nonprofits post tens of thousands of volunteer opportunities online. As a result, VolunteerMatch has generated nearly 2 million new volunteer referrals to these organizations since 1998.
"VolunteerMatch is great," says Arizonan Spike Taylor. "I have been a hospice volunteer for 3 months now, and love it. My life is very rewarding because of the privilege of being able to help people, and I thank VolunteerMatch for exposing me to so many great opportunities."
Visitors to the site simply enter their ZIP code at www.VolunteerMatch.org to find local opportunities. Volunteers can also search by interest, date and keyword to generate a personally customized list. Once an opportunity of choice is found, the volunteer simply clicks on it to contact the organization and get involved.
Any nonprofit or tax-exempt organization can list volunteer opportunities on VolunteerMatch. Participating nonprofit organizations have found that the service streamlines their volunteer recruitment efforts.
"Until we signed up for VolunteerMatch, our efforts to recruit volunteers had been nearly fruitless, and we were becoming disheartened," says Leslie Ray, vice president of For Pets Sake in Northwest Arkansas. "But within just a short time of signing up with VolunteerMatch, we began to receive referrals! VolunteerMatch has been the answer to our prayers!"
The VolunteerMatch service is without cost for both volunteers and nonprofits. VolunteerMatch relies upon grants from charitable foundations for most of its funding, and also licenses its technology to companies like Charles Schwab, Dell, and Target to make it easier for employees to volunteer. The revenue derived from corporate licenses preserves VolunteerMatch's financial stability, and strengthens its capacity as an effective public service--one of the few online social services available.
So whether you can spare an hour a week, a day per week, or a week per year, you can make an important contribution. Donate to a food bank, shop for toys for needy children, serve food at the local soup kitchen, mentor a child, clean-up the local park. Regardless of how you decide to get involved, nothing beats the combination of holiday spirit and volunteer service.
If you're ready to make a difference, visit VolunteerMatch at www.volunteermatch.org. You'll make your holidays--and the holidays of those in-need--shine that much brighter.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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