You know those little bouncy balls that you see in vending machines, the ones that seem to bounce in every direction with no apparent purpose, yet they’re entertaining and engaging? Well, last August, a group of very high energy, bouncy-ball type people got together to discuss ways to celebrate the Volunteer Center’s 20th anniversary. Out of that meeting, with ideas being spouted out faster than I could write them down, “The Volunteer Project” was born.
The project is a simple idea: register 500 new volunteers to the center’s online volunteer registry in hopes of making people aware of where and when volunteers are needed. Our belief was that people are willing to help, but don’t always know how and where the help is needed.
One year later, 695 new volunteers have been registered; 695 people willing to help when they can, where they can. We tout all of the incredible things that Door County has to offer, and I think the people of Door County should be number one on the list!
All year, we’ve seen the results of this little project and hearing stories of how people have responded when asked to help.
In December, two days before Feed & Clothe My People’s “Adopt a Child” program deadline, they still had 37 children’s names left on their tree. We sent out a plea to our new volunteer database, and within 90 minutes, all 37 children had been “adopted.”
When someone read about the vast number of kids looking for a Big Brother or Big Sister, they found a perfect match for their need to be part of a child’s life now that they’re retired.
We’ve asked people to commemorate Days of Service, like 9/11, by dropping off cards for Door County servicemen and women as a show of support and people responded overwhelmingly. Volunteers dropped off personal care items for Make a Difference Day and canned goods for the food pantries. Whenever we’ve asked, you’ve found a way to say “Yes!” enthusiastically.
While The Volunteer Project has been a success for us in the numbers of people that we’ve been able to reach, the true success is how you’ve responded. We say it over and over again – Door County is an amazing place. If you think the place is amazing, you should meet its people.
To receive volunteer information or to see what volunteer opportunities are available, visit VolunteerDoorCounty.com or call 920.746.7704 to request a Volunteer Guide. The Volunteer Center is located at 62 S. Third Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.