By Emily Rendall-Araujo, Director of Resource Development and Marketing
The Volunteer Center of Sheboygan County opened in 2009 as a collaborative initiative between Partners for Community Development (Partners) and the United Way of Sheboygan County, utilizing several key community volunteers and AmeriCorps volunteers. A group of interested local volunteer coordinators, businesses and organizations requested the creation of an organization to assist in recruiting, training and coordinating volunteer programs. Many other individuals and organizations, including schools, churches, non-profits and businesses, have been supportive of the Volunteer Center by serving on the Steering Committee or by partnering with the center.
After five years of development and growth, the Volunteer Center is evolving. When its program manager resigned in March, Partners and United Way assembled a strategic planning committee of their respective board members, staff and other vested community members to study the Volunteer Center.
On the heels of the initial staff resignation, the program director who oversaw the Volunteer Center resigned, leaving one part-time employee to run the center. Partners and United Way met and came to the conclusion that the Volunteer Center should join United Way on a temporary basis while the strategic planning committee continues the strategic planning process. Many volunteer centers, throughout the country, operate within the United Way system or independently as their own non-profit organizations. The transition from Partners to United Way will allow Partners to focus on its many other programs, core to its business model of weatherization and low-income housing.
Starting this week on an interim basis, the Volunteer Center is now a United Way program housed within the United Way building at 2020 Erie Avenue in Sheboygan. The Volunteer Center will continue to function as it has in the past, serving the community by matching volunteer opportunities with willing volunteers. The Day of Caring and Jammin’ on the Shores events will continue as planned, on July 17 and 18, respectively. More information on these events will follow in the coming weeks.
We would like to thank Partners for Community Development as well as the many volunteers responsible for the creation and support of the Volunteer Center of Sheboygan County. If you have any questions about this transition, please feel free to contact the Volunteer Center at (920) 980-6658 or Jodey@VolunteerSheboygan.com.