Gwinnett Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash announced the official launch of Volunteer Gwinnett during the annual State of the County address Wednesday (Feb. 15) and called on residents, businesses and organizations to get involved.
Besides the “feel good” rewards of volunteering, participants in the countywide volunteer program will have the opportunity to learn first-hand how local government impacts the community. The program also helps the county save money.
The Volunteer Gwinnett program offers an easy way for interested residents and businesses to read about countywide volunteer opportunities, sign up online, track service hours and submit project requests, according to a press release issued by the county. The program also includes a standardized training and registration process along with events to recognize volunteers for their service. Each county department, agency and office has designated staff to manage their volunteer opportunities and volunteers.
While some departments already have active volunteer programs in place, the comprehensive Volunteer Gwinnett program was developed in response to an Engage Gwinnett committee recommendation to engage residents in volunteer activities to support government operations and potentially save money.
“This program gives every resident an opportunity to give back to our community in a meaningful way, gain valuable experience and help us keep expenses down,” said Nash during her address at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth.
Many county departments already use volunteers to assist with events and daily activities, but this is Gwinnett’s first centralized volunteer program. “Last year, volunteers donated 471,000 valuable hours, and with the launch of the Volunteer Gwinnett program, we hope it will be easier for more residents to get involved and find ways to use their talents,” said Volunteer Gwinnett Coordinator Kay Sibetta.
The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution to implement a countywide volunteer program in August 2011, establishing a goal to reach 1 million volunteer hours per year by 2015.
For more information and access to Gwinnett’s volunteer network, visit www.volunteergwinnett.net