OLYMPIA- The Volunteer Center and Olympia Federal Savings are pleased to announce the Be the Change Contest. Volunteers and volunteer groups will have a way to “Pay It Forward” by first volunteering in the community to assist the causes they care about and as a result of that volunteerism, winning the opportunity to designate a cash award for the charity of their choice.
One group will win a year of free Web site hosting. The contest is part of the Volunteer Center’s Summer of Service inspired by Pres. Obama's United We Serve initiative. A list of Summer of Service opportunities and events can be found at www.volunteer.ws. Project ideas must be submitted to email@example.com by Sept. 11, 2009.
Prizes will be awarded based on creativity, innovation, and community engagement as decided by a panel of community members. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:
First Prize: Community Changers: Awarded to the group with the biggest community impact, winners of this award must explain how their project made a difference. Winner receives $250 toward their favorite nonprofit organization’s NEXT project
Second Prize: Group Dynamics: Awarded to group that engages the largest number of volunteers. Winner receives Web site hosting for a nonprofit organization from GCI Ad Agency.
Third Prize: Building Bridges: Awarded to the group that engages the most volunteers of diverse backgrounds i.e. age, race, socio-economic background. Winner receives $100 donation to favorite nonprofit organization.
Fourth Prize: We Are Family: Awarded to most creative volunteer project involving family members. Each of three winners will receive prizes of $50 donated to their favorite charitable organization.
What’s a creative idea? Want some thoughts on how to be innovative? Need a jumpstart for your community building brainstorm sessions? Consider these ideas:
From Todd Smilth, City of Olympia VIP Coordinator:
The South Sound chapter of the Surf Rider Foundation and Olympia Volunteers in Parks (VIP) program are sponsoring a work party at Priest Point Park on Saturday, January 17, from 1-4pm. We’ll be removing Ivy, Holly and other invasive species on and around the shoreline of Priest Point Park. Meet at the playground parking lot on the west side of Priest Point Park. Please note that this event includes a ¾ mile roundtrip walk down and up an easy/moderate trail. Please dress for the weather and wear sturdy boots or shoes. Volunteers under the age of 18 are welcome, but must have signed parental permission. Volunteers under 14 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Tools and refreshments will be provided. No need to sign up in advance. See you there!
OLYMPIA – In a community struggling to respond to and recover from a disaster, an influx of unexpected or unneeded volunteers and donations can make the process even more difficult. Before traveling to the disaster area to help, learn where and when your skills will be needed. Discuss with volunteer organizations how your needs for food, water and shelter will be met while you are volunteering. When volunteering, don’t become part of the disaster. Follow these guidelines:
1. GET TRAINED Most disaster organizations require a level of training to be sure their volunteers are qualified to supply the services the clients need. Though it is sometimes possible to train you in the moment, it is not the most effective way. Signing up with a disaster-based organization before a disaster is the BEST way to be a great volunteer later.
Several important preparedness trainings are already scheduled in the community.