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Becoming a volunteer easier than you think

Website will help connect those willing to help with organizations

July 8, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

Becoming a volunteer in Emmet County has just gotten a whole lot easier, thanks to a new website that's up and running for the Emmet County Volunteer Network.

Prospective volunteers or organizations needing volunteers can go to to either register as an organization needing volunteers or to volunteer for worthy causes in Emmet County. Emmet County Volunteer Network board members saw the website in action Monday at Iowa Lakes Community College.

Mary Steele, RSVP director for the five-county area served by Iowa Lakes Community College, which sponsors the program, said the website was completed and is ready for information to be posted. Steele wrote a grant to fund the network which is intended as a repository for volunteers and organizations needing them.

Steele said Iowa State University students did the website for the Volunteer Network of Clay County which served as a design for the Emmet County Volunteer Network. Steele said Iowa Lakes student Brian Nock had further adapted the site to make it easier to use. At this point, Steele said Emmet County is just six months behind Clay County which has already had its site up and running for a while.

The site is straightforward and easy to use. "About Us" buttons will lead visitors to information about what the volunteer network is.

Steele said once partners - or organizations needing volunteers - have provided the necessary information, they can request volunteers. She said it's preferred that they use the online form because that will have all the needed information. She said the center is ready to start putting in information about volunteer partners, volunteer requests and volunteers.

Linda Anderson, Emmet County RSVP coordinator, said two partners have already requested volunteers and received them. Steele emphasized that the center is intended to serve the entire county. Steele suggested that at least a one-week notice should be given for a one-time event.

Steele said the center wants to try to cultivate a culture of volunteerism in which people of all ages want to volunteers.

The group's next meeting will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 14.



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