WebHdr_Volunteerism Community Engagement & Volunteerism | The Power of a Helping Hand

United Way’s Community Engagement Team stewards the largest community volunteer force in Southern Nevada. A vital community resource that connects individuals, families, groups and corporations to fun, meaningful and impactful volunteer opportunities in southern Nevada, we have amassed a near army of dedicated and passionate volunteers. A deeply rewarding experience, whether you’re 18 or 80, a high school student or a retiree, volunteers make both immediate and lasting change, improving lives and building a stronger community fabric person by person. We inspire, equip and mobilize people to change lives through volunteerism and activation of groups, corporation and individuals.

Via our volunteer website, we engage more than 14,000 individuals with year round opportunities to make a difference through time energy and passion. Whether a volunteer is looking to read to children, prepare taxes for qualifying families, assemble hygiene kits, or warm a family around the holidays, UWSN can connect you to an project in need of your help. Whether you are looking to volunteer for an hour, a day, a week or all year long, we promise that your time will be time well spent for all. We also will take care of all the details, so all you have to do is show up ready to help. Custom projects can also be designed. Please call 892-2322 for a proposal.


For those individuals who are looking for an opportunity to make an amazing difference in southern Nevada through a one or two-year commitment to the community, United Way of Southern Nevada coordinates national AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA programs, offering  education awards and real world experience.

Thousands of AmeriCorps volunteers of all ages from across the country donate millions of hours of service each year towards education, public safety, health, and the environment. The variety of service opportunities is almost unlimited. Members may tutor and mentor youth, build affordable housing, teach computer skills, clean parks and streams, run after-school programs, or help communities respond to disasters. AmeriCorps members assigned through UWSN serve part-time, at a minimum of 900 hours during their 12 month term of service. Results from a longitudinal study of AmeriCorps members and surveys of members, alumni, and the organizations where members served examined the impacts of national service on members’ civic engagement, education, employment, and life skills. Findings reveal that AmeriCorps alumni are more connected to their communities, continue to participate in community activities, and choose public service careers after their service with AmeriCorps.
AmeriCorps VISTA
Similarly, AmeriCorps VISTA members help build the capacity of our nonprofit community via citizen mobilization and volunteer leadership development. Founded in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy, it merged with the Peace Corps in the 1970’s and became unofficially known as the ‘Domestic Peace Corps’.  By engaging citizens through training, volunteer projects and deeper community engagement, the VISTA program strengthens the foundation and infrastructure for community involvement, neighborhood empowerment, and resident leadership. VISTA members serve full time for 12 months and earn a living allowance of $12,192.

Making an Impact in Our Community
UWSN’s Community Engagement Team engages people in volunteer opportunities where they can share their talents, learn new skills and create positive change as individuals. We also host a large National Day of Service and Corporate Service Projects throughout the year.

  • More than 332,000 hours of service were donated, helping to improve community conditions through critical projects
  • Nearly 24,540 volunteers were activated to unique community wide service projects, driving immediate community change
  • More than 14,559 transformative volunteer opportunities were offered, supporting multiple needs across the community.

[pullquote]Time and talent is critical to delivering solutions to the problems facing our community.[/pullquote]

Workplace Engagement
We regularly partner with local businesses and corporations to design days of service for their team members. Corporations repeatedly comment on the “esprits de corps” in their workforce generated from community service. We see that those that volunteer through the workplace are appreciative to have the opportunity to do so, and have a greater outlook on their work and in life in general. Along with making a difference in the lives of those living in southern Nevada, corporate teams who volunteer build morale, improve leadership skills, open lines of communication and help employees feel good about the organization for which they work. We are able to create volunteer projects which support a variety of impact areas, including education, financial stability and health. Please see our Guide to Changing Lives to find an opportunity.

The Immeasurable Value of Volunteerism
While the Independent Sector has assigned an hourly value of a volunteer’s time, we view every hour spent as immeasurable. Every hour given has such enormous impact on the community and on the outlook of the volunteer that in our view, that time is priceless. According to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the value of volunteer services can be used on financial statements –- including statements for internal and external purposes, grant proposals, and annual reports –- only if a volunteer is performing a specialized skill for a nonprofit. The general rule to follow when determining if contributed services meet the FASB criteria for financial forms is to determine whether the organization would have purchased the services if they had not been donated.

Chris Cappas

Senior Director,
Community Engagement/H.R.

With over 25 years of Human Resource and Employee Engagement experience, Chris has earned countless awards for her deep community involvement and excellence in the workplace. Chris’ experience working for best-in-breed corporate entities allows her to understand the nuances of varying corporate cultures and how to empower employees. At UWSN, Chris creates meaningful, seamless intersections between individuals, companies, and experiences.

Lynn Stewart

Community Engagement

Lynn is an avid volunteer and sees herself as a conduit for community impact. Lynn’s ultra-positive outlook on life makes her a natural born cheerleader, dedicated to encouraging others to reach their greatest potential. With over 10 years of experience in the non-profit industry, Lynn started her journey as a graduate of University of Houston, and then, Southern California’s Olive Crest. With an eye toward honing her customer service and employee engagement skills, Lynn spent some time working in the Casino Industry with Caesar’s entertainment. Lynn works with Chris Cappas to activate meaningful employee engagement opportunities for our donors, campaigns, employees, and community members.

community engagement news

Community Engagement | Schwartz Family Notes

What do you do to celebrate 50 years of marriage? Bring 85 of your closest friends and family to Las Vegas of course!

And while you’re taking in the sights and all that Las Vegas has to offer, if you want to make a difference reach out to the local United Way to coordinate a service project.

On Saturday, September 5, Barbara and Stanley Schwartz with 85 family and friends arrived at Laura Dearing Elementary School, a school with children and families in need of help and support.

After a motivating kickoff speech from United Way of Southern Nevada and the principal of Dearing Elementary, Dr. Beaird, and loving words from Barbara and Stan, the refurbishing began. United Way volunteer leaders managed the group as they tended school garden beds, painted rundown areas of the school, cleaned the playground, cafeteria and classroom doors, packed food bags for students and families and made “Thank You” treat bags for all of the teachers.

The project ended with a “school lunch” in the cafeteria and a slide show of the work they had accomplished that day. The Dearing staff expressed their thanks and were so grateful for the generosity and care that the Schwartz family put into our community.

Improve Children’s Dental Health | Get Involved 2 Ways!

Tooth decay remains the single most common chronic disease among children. Help us ensure that children receive necessary dental care products to ensure dental health. 36% of children have untreated tooth decay 9% of children live with dental pain 65% of children are uninsured and without health care resources Help us create 5,000 Dental Kits… Continue Reading

Me & My Recipe | Lynn Stewart

With a bright spirit and an infectious smile, Lynn Stewart is committed to changing lives through servicing the community. A southern California girl who moved to Vegas during her freshman year of high school, Lynn loves the community that she now calls home and works to make a difference as United Way’s Community Engagement Manager.… Continue Reading

Back to School & Giving Back!

Remember the excitement and anticipation that led up to your first day of school? Imagine if you did not have the pencils, erasers, pens, binders and paper to begin the school year with confidence. Well this is where our community steps in to ensure that every student is prepared. One of our corporate partners, Sitel,… Continue Reading

Engage Employees | Encourage Young Minds

Encouraging young minds to read and develop their interest and knowledge in science, technology, engineering and math is critical. Remember your first science experiment? How about your first book? United Way’s Community Engagement Team can to provide an opportunity to inspire children to learn and build employee camaraderie and teamwork all in one volunteer opportunity. Challenge… Continue Reading

Community Engagement in Action | Caesars Entertainment

On Thursday, April, 9, 2015, over 65 Caesars Entertainment management team volunteers from Paris, Bally’s and Planet Hollywood gathered at Walter V. Long Elementary School to make a huge impact in the school by rolling up their sleeves and volunteering. Under the leadership of David Hoenemeyer, President of Paris, Bally’s and Planet Hollywood, the management team was so inspired… Continue Reading

“Flip Through Summer” Family Fun Summer Kickoff on May 16, 2015 at Springs Preserve

United Way of Southern Nevada will be hosting “Flip Through Summer,” a family fun summer kickoff event at Springs Preserve on Saturday, May 16, 2015 from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. A special day of celebration, imagination and the magic of some of children’s most beloved books and characters, this event will feature six book… Continue Reading