GREAT FALLS — United Way of Cascade County is looking for volunteers for several programs as the holiday season approaches.
The organization uses volunteers in a variety of ways and in almost everything that they do - so much, in fact, that their mission statement is “To make it easy for people to give, to advocate, and to volunteer.”
Through their volunteer website, VolunteerGreatFalls.org, they work with 71 organizations and non-profit agencies in the community.
The goal of the website was to make it as easy as possible for anyone who wants to find a volunteering opportunity that suits them.
Marketing director Kim Skornogoski says that in a joint study with Leadership Great Falls a few years ago, they found that willingness to volunteer wasn’t the main thing stopping people from giving up their time for a good cause.
"What they found was that it was actually harder to find the volunteer opportunities than to actually volunteer,” Skornogoski explained. “So they came to United Way and said ‘You guys are kind of the pros at making things like this easy, help us out.’ So United Way created our volunteer website, and it’s just really super easy to search. You can search either by an organization or a topic or really based on your schedule, and so all of the volunteer opportunities are right there for anybody to see.”
United Way is still compiling a list of organizations that are searching for extra volunteers for the holiday season. They expect that list to be out soon and for people to be able to commit their time to those organizations by the end of the month.
One of the areas where volunteers are always needed and welcome year-round is schools. Whether it’s assisting teachers or giving students some one-on-one time that they might miss out on otherwise, Skornogoski says that schools in the community could always use more help.
“We are doing a really big push to recruit people into classrooms. There’s actually several teachers that are hoping to get volunteers to come in, it might be for an hour, once a week, it might be for a couple hours each week, but they're looking for those volunteers that can come in and give students one on one time,” she said. “People don’t have to be math geniuses or even really have experience teaching or working with kids, it’s really just a matter of being willing to listen and give a student that dedication and one on one time.”
If you’re interested in volunteering your time, or even just looking at all the available opportunities to volunteer in Great Falls, click here to visit VolunteerGreatFalls.org.