York County Medicine Summer 2020 - 38

YO R K C O M E D S O C . O R G

Build a stronger community
United Way of York County's Volunteer Center
connects nonprofits with those who can help

V

olunteering is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but
not many people stop to think about what it means.
Maybe your first experience was a community service
requirement for high school or college, or you've volunteered in
your child's classroom or for an after-school event. Maybe your
workplace even arranges team volunteer opportunities.
But what does it really mean to volunteer, and what impact
does volunteering have on the community? You might be
surprised! At the Volunteer Center at United Way of York County,
we see first-hand the impact of volunteers' time and energy in
meeting the needs of nonprofits in our community.
For over 99 years, United Way of York County has collaborated
with other public and private organizations to engage the
community in addressing the complex issues facing York County.
Through gifts to the Community Fund, United Way is able to
invest those dollars into 66 programs supported by 35 Partner
Agencies, ultimately improving the lives of one in four people in
York County.
Our mission is to build a stronger, caring community by
cultivating financial generosity, volunteerism and advocacy.
Volunteering is a huge component of our impact in the
community: From helping a group home beautify their outdoor
space and spruce up their landscaping, to serving as a tutor
for someone working toward their High School Equivalency,
volunteers are consistently making a difference in the lives of our
neighbors and friends.

The Impact of Volunteering
Volunteering also has an economic impact for our community.
Currently, the minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $7.25 an hour.
And yet, according to the Independent Sector, in 2019 the
average value of a volunteered hour in Pennsylvania was $24.94.
That means that if you were to volunteer for just four hours on a
Saturday, you would be making a local economic impact worth
$100.
There's even more good news: Anyone can be a volunteer!
Our Volunteer Center works to connect people with volunteer
opportunities that match their interests, last year engaging more
than 2,100 individuals in York County. We do this through three
simple focuses: Passion, Impact and Place.
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York County Medicine | SUMMER 2020

Passion, Impact, Place
If you're not already connected to volunteering, how do you
begin? Sometimes the process of knowing where to start and what
to do can be overwhelming. More often than not, we know that
we want to get involved, but we don't know how. This is where
Passion, Impact, and Place come in: The building blocks of all
volunteer opportunities.

First, Passion: This is something that interests you, motivates
you, or inspires you to make a change. It's the driving force behind
wanting to get involved and make a difference. Maybe you have a
passion for animals, or young children, or environmental issues.
Second, Impact: Take that passion and turn it into action.
What does your interest look like as an activity? What action can
you take to make a tangible change with your passion? Maybe your
love for animals is an opportunity to help strays find their fur-ever
home, or your passion for the environment drives you to lead a
park clean-up. This is also a chance to consider how much time
you are looking to devote to volunteering: A couple hours a year?
A month? A week?
Third, Place: Where can you take action? Are you looking for
a volunteer opportunity near your home? In your child's school?
With your team at work? There are tons of organizations and
nonprofits that are already focused on your passion, and one of
them is sure to be a great partner to work with.
It's worth mentioning that many nonprofits are willing to
work with individuals to create opportunities that are a fit,
including family-friendly opportunities that allow children to
get involved alongside their siblings, parents or other family
members. Although some agencies require a person to be a
certain age depending on insurance regulations or to protect the
confidentiality of their clients, it never hurts to call and ask!


http://www.YORKCOMEDSOC.ORG

York County Medicine Summer 2020

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