Volunteerism | The Power of a Helping Hand
United Way’s Volunteer Center is the largest community volunteer force in Southern Nevada. A one-stop-shop 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. Our mission for the Volunteer Center is to inspire, equip and mobilize people to change lives through volunteer service.
Via our volunteer website, we engage more than 14,000 individuals with more than 400 nonprofit and community based organizations in southern Nevada. Whether a volunteer is looking to read to children, prepare taxes for qualifying families, feed the hungry, or assemble hygiene kits for the homeless, UWSN can connect you to an organization in need of your help. Whether you are looking to volunteer for an hour, a day, a week or all year long, we can connect you to a project worthy of your time and effort.
Time and talent is critical to delivering solutions to the problems facing our community.
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.
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 Volunteer Center engages people in volunteer opportunities where they can share their talents, learn new skills and create positive change as individuals. The Volunteer Center also hosts large National Day of Service and Corporate Service Projects throughout the year.
- More than 202,000 hours of service were donated, helping to improve community conditions through critical projects
- Nearly 15,000 volunteers were activated to unique community wide service projects, driving immediate community change
- More than 12,400 transformative volunteer opportunities were offered, across multiple areas across the community.
UWSN’s Volunteer Center regularly partners with local businesses and corporations to design days of service for their team members. Corporations repeatedly comment on the “esprits de corps” community service inspires in their workforce. We see that those that volunteer through the workplace are appreciative to have the opportunity to do so, and those that volunteer 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 they work for. We are able to create volunteer projects which support a variety of impact areas, including education, financial stability and health. The Volunteer Center is currently creating a multi-tiered education themed volunteer program. Volunteers will have the ability to engage in opportunities with a 2 to 3 hour commitment, a commitment of 3-4 hours on a monthly basis or an opportunity which will engage them on a weekly basis for 9-12 months and everything in between. These opportunities may be a perfect fit for a business to embrace or an individual from a large or small corporation.
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.