Prizes kick off the new
SANFORD, N.C. — Connecting volunteers with organizations that need help has just become a whole lot easier with VolunteerLee.com, a new community website created by the local United Way. And a group of local businesses is now offering a contest to help launch the new venture.
VolunteerLee.com provides a showcase for local nonprofits, school groups, ministries and other organizations providing practical assistance for local residents. The site rolled out quietly last year and is still in late stages of development. But it already features dozens of organizations providing everything from free food and housing to leadership training and job assistance.
Anyone wanting to volunteer in the community can register on the site. By listing your interests and preferences, the site will pass along your contact information to organizations needing exactly the kind of help you want to provide.
"The idea is to help people get connected," says Ron Hewett, who is leading the United Way initiative. "A lot of people have been frustrated because they want to help, but don't know where to turn. Now, there's one place where volunteers can go to learn about the outstanding organizations in our community and groups can go to find people who have the kind of interests and time they need."
To help VolunteerLee.com become a success, local businesses have raised $1,000 for a contest to promote the site and get the community connected.
The one school parent-teacher organization and one other nonprofit organization that encourages the most people to register on VolunteerLee.com will each receive a $500 prize.
People registering at VolunteerLee.com can indicate what school or nonprofit inspired them to register by entering the school or organization's name in the "company" box on their profile. Winning organizations must have a completed profile at VolunteerLee.com. That includes having their logo posted, the "who we are" and "what we do" sections of their profile completed and at least one need for volunteers posted. The contest runs through March 30. Hewett says it's easy for organizations to register and get involved. They can begin by clicking the "organizational signup" button on the VolunteerLee.com home page and entering contact information. The United Way will then contact the organization and provide some training on how to use the site, a short session that generally takes about an hour. "Our motto is 'Improving our community ... one person at a time,' and that's what the site is designed to do," says Hewett. "We saw during the tornado and we see every day how willing people are to help if they know where they can make an impact. VolunteerLee.com is the place to find out."
The United Way of Lee County has raised and distributed millions of dollars to help nurture children, enhance self-sufficiency and strengthen families. Contributions raised throughout the year, including the fall campaign, are distributed to about two dozen partner agencies dedicated to improving life for everyone in Lee County.