Volunteer Connections Launches New Website Linking Volunteers and Nonprofits, Making it Easier for Winston-Salem Area Residents to Find Ways to Serve

Winston-Salem, NC, February 16, 2007 --(PR.com)-- Earlier this month, Volunteer Connections of Greater Winston-Salem officially launched a new Internet website with a volunteer matching database designed to connect volunteers and nonprofit organizations. Now volunteers can easily find opportunities to get involved in their community by visiting www.volunteer-connections.org.

The 2000 National Social Capital Benchmark Survey conducted by Dr. Robert D. Putnam of Harvard found that Forsyth County had lower than average rates of volunteerism. Forty-two percent of survey respondents said that a lack of information or not knowing where to begin was a major barrier to volunteering. Volunteer Connections will now provide the community with an easy online clearinghouse of volunteer opportunities to help people overcome that barrier.

Volunteer Connections has evolved out of the work of the Volunteerism Committee of the ECHO (Everyone Can Help Out) Council, which was founded by The Winston Salem Foundation in 2003 to work as a promoter, incubator, facilitator, and advocate for social capital. “We are very pleased that the ECHO Council has launched a program like Volunteer Connections that will enable residents to get connected to the greater community,” said Scott Wierman, president of The Winston-Salem Foundation.

With initial funding from The Winston-Salem Foundation, HanesBrands, Inc. and the United Way, this volunteer matching website is the first of many volunteer-related activities planned as part of the Volunteer Connections program. The volunteer matching website at www.volunteer-connections.org is powered by 1-800-Volunteer.org. The 1-800-Volunteer.org system allows volunteers to search and find opportunities 24 hours a day. The website allows volunteers to search based on their skills, interests and availability and easily sign up for opportunities. The service is free for local organizations and volunteers. The website currently lists hundreds of volunteer opportunities that are available in Forsyth County.

There is tremendous enthusiasm in the community for this new website. “This will be an invaluable resource for those of us that recruit volunteers as well as people looking for volunteer opportunities,” said Beth Hoover-DeBerry, Docent Coordinator for Reynolda House Museum of American Art, who recently attended a workshop on how to use the website to recruit volunteers. This sentiment was echoed by Tami Colvin, who moved to Winston-Salem four years ago. “When I first moved here, I wanted to get involved in the community, but had difficulty finding out about volunteer opportunities,” said Mrs. Colvin. She continued, “This will be a great resource to help both new and old residents find volunteer opportunities. I look forward to using the website to find new ways to put my skills and interests to use in the community.”

About Volunteer Connections
Volunteer Connections is a new Volunteer Center that is designed to serve as a focal point for mobilizing and connecting both new and established volunteers and leaders and to engage them in activities that strengthen and unite our community. Volunteer Connections is a member of the Points of Light Foundation and the Volunteer Center National Network.

About 1-800-Volunteer.org
1-800-Volunteer.org, a service of the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network, is an online, community-based volunteer management tool designed by and built especially for Volunteer Centers to increase local capacity in volunteering. Volunteer Centers and non-profit organizations can use 1-800-Volunteer to recruit, manage, and track volunteers -- including preparing and mobilizing volunteers during emergency situations. 1-800-Volunteer.org is a free service to volunteers and non-profits. For more information, visit www.1-800-Volunteer.org.

Volunteer Connections of Greater Winston-Salem
Tari Hanneman