(Wampsville, NY – March 2013) The Madison County Youth Bureau announced last week that it has partnered with the United Way of Central New York to create the Youth Volunteer Connection. The Youth Volunteer Connection is a section on the www.volunteercny.org website specifically for youth in Madison County who are seeking opportunities to be involved in their community in a positive and productive way.

“Volunteering is such an important part of our social fabric in America,” said Justin Lynch, regional volunteer coordinator for the United Way of Central New York. “The United Way is excited to partner with the Youth Bureau in Madison County to introduce youth to philanthropy. Through this interactive platform, an online community is being created to connect youth with volunteer opportunities.”

The first step in building the Youth Volunteer Connection is to encourage organizations to set up an account at volunteercny.org. The video on the site takes the organization through the process step-by-step. Once an organization has created an account, opportunities can be entered for young people by including MCYB in the title of the opportunity. The Youth Bureau is happy to assist anyone in the process of getting started and can offer one-on-one technical assistance.

“There are many youth who struggle to identify locations where they can volunteer to meet school requirements or to offer their time and talents,” said Madison County Youth Bureau Director Joanne Eddy. “Youth also may be unaware of the variety of volunteer opportunities available in Madison County. This resource will allow youth to easily access organizations to address their volunteer needs. Organizations can quickly list opportunities publicly to an audience of prospective volunteers.”

The site will match an organization’s volunteer opportunities with youth who are interested in giving of their free time for personal satisfaction, as well as meeting school requirements for service learning and community outreach.

Requests for volunteers should address needs that cannot be met through regular staffing functions. Activities may be short- or long-term.

Organizations can request volunteers for one-time activities, such as special events or fairs, time-specific projects, such as seasonal cleanups or business related duties, or permanent tasks, such as food pantry or thrift store organization.

All requests for volunteers must be for work completed in a safe and supervised setting.

Once a good number of organizations have completed the initial phase of listing their opportunities on the website, it will be publicized to youth. Youth will then be able to create volunteer accounts and search for volunteer opportunities in and around their community specific to their availability, skills and interests. Youth can contact the organization through the website and begin their volunteer work in a timely manner.

“We hope to create a one-stop shop for youth throughout Madison County,” said Youth Development Specialist Tina Louis. “The site is an untapped resource right now. It needs organizations to get online and post opportunities so that the Youth Bureau can go the next step to promote the site to youth.”

For more information, visit volunteercny.org. You can also access the site from the Madison County Youth Bureau’s website at madisoncounty.ny.gov/youth-bureau/home and click on the Youth Volunteer Connection link.

If you have questions about the site or need technical assistance, contact Louis at 315.366.2895 or tina.louis@madisoncounty.ny.gov.

By martha

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