We consider ourselves the engagement arm of the CI department. We work directly with our community to get people out volunteering on opportunities that align with our new strategic goal of reducing childhood poverty. We also offer a broader selection of volunteer opportunities, such as working on environmental issues or helping the elderly.
Our model is based on the belief that everyone has the opportunity to serve. We believe that when you volunteer to help your community, it’s not only the recipient that gains, but volunteers’ lives are also enriched. We believe that service is something that we all have in common and that it is transformative.
To our volunteers and partners we look the same. But internally there have been some changes. When we merged with United Way it allowed us to focus on what we do best ‒ connecting volunteers to opportunities. We have been able to streamline our operations, cut overhead costs and free up our staff’s time to connect our volunteers with meaningful volunteer opportunities.
The primary way we are going to be able to help break the cycle of poverty is to bring more volunteer resources to the table to work on this issue. A large part of the new plan is this idea of a connected community, and we see volunteerism as integral to that. When neighborhoods have a large array of services and support they can help elevate the families and children living in them.
Now that we have completed the merger and we have our footing it’s really all about digging deeper programmatically. It’s so exciting that thousands of people connect with our new strategic plan. We can now harness this energy. We’ve had great conversations with many in our community – now we can start getting the job done.