Helpline Seeks Volunteers to Pledge Hours

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Rapid City Journal (January 2, 2015):  Helpline Center kicks off its new Volunteer Connections program on Jan. 22 with Volunteer Rapid City, a social media pledge-a-thon. During the one-day Volunteer Rapid City event, Volunteer Connections challenges community members to pledge volunteer hours for 2015, with a goal of reaching 1,000 hours. Whether those hours are spent feeding the hungry, caring for the homeless or tutoring children, the community will be a better place because of it, officials say. “Too often, I hear from people who have the time and the inclination to volunteer, but don’t know where to find the volunteer opportunities. At the same time, so many of the local nonprofit organizations desperately need volunteer help. This program brings them together,” said Lynn Taylor Rick, Volunteer Connections Coordinator. Helpline Center’s Volunteer Connections program was established in Rapid City in September 2014 through a grant from the John T. Vucurevich Foundation. Volunteer Connections provides the critical link between those who want to volunteer and the agencies that need them. Using the Volunteer Connections online database at helplinecenter.org, Black Hills agencies post volunteer opportunities. Volunteers are able to search those opportunities to find the volunteer experience that’s perfect for them. Volunteer Rapid City will jump-start the new program. The public can visit helplinecenter.org to print a pledge form. People are encouraged to fill it out, snap a selfie with the form and post the picture to Instagram or Facebook with #volunteerrapidcity. They can then visit http://helplinecenter.org/volunteer-services/black-hills/volunteer-rapid-city/ to see other volunteer selfies and learn more about Volunteer Connections. Volunteers can also call 2-1-1 to pledge volunteer hours. Volunteer Rapid City will also include an open house from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Helpline Center office at 529 Kansas City St., Suite 200. Visitors can participate in hands-on volunteer projects throughout the day. Volunteer Connections will hold its Rapid City Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting at 1 p.m. The Volunteer Connections database currently lists more than 200 local Volunteer Opportunities with 55 Black Hills area nonprofit agencies. To learn more about Volunteer Connections, call 2-1-1 or go to helplinecenter.org.

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