Live United To Remember
Volunteer Connection is a HandsOn Network Affiliate and Volunteer Center that promotes and supports volunteerism in Greene, Montgomery, and Preble Counties in Dayton, Ohio. As a part of United Way of the Greater Dayton Area, Volunteer Connection works to increase the awareness and value of volunteerism at the community level, recruit volunteers for local nonprofits, and enhance the capacity of the nonprofit sector by engaging volunteers effectively.
United Way of the Greater Dayton Area focuses on improving lives by mobilizing the power of communities to advance the common good with the mission of Give, Advocate, Volunteer. Volunteer Connection’s practice is to strengthen that “Volunteer” piece to allow events such as 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance to enforce a positive attitude and outlook of unity in the community.
Currently 18 agencies have confirmed 20 separate 9/11 Service Tribute projects with Volunteer Connection. These agencies include: Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm; Community Blood and Tissue Services Center; Dayton History; St. Vincent de Paul; Life Enrichment Center; Daybreak; Catholic Social Services Refugee Warehouse; United Rehabilitation Services; Ronald McDonald House; Dayton Christian Center; Good Neighbor House; Xenia Family Visitation Center; Residents in Community Living; and Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley. All of the service projects will take place on Friday, September 9th 2011 between 8:30 am and 5:00pm. Out of the 18 projects requesting the service of volunteers, 6 are beautification projects to the inside of non profits in the community, 5 projects will engage seniors with disabilities, 4 involve rehabbing and environmental clean ups around the city, 1 is a home building project, 1 involves sorting donations for a food pantry and 1major project involves sorting donations to give to refugee families.
Each project has a strategic plan to explain how the service activity connects to remembering those affected by 9/11 before the service project begins. Each agency has a designated Project Leader that will lead the group in a moment of silence and tribute at the beginning of the project. Project Leaders will also work with Volunteer Connection to make sure volunteers receive a schedule of tributes, dedications, and ceremonies that will take place in the Dayton area in memory of 9/11. Once this is complete, the actual project will begin and then conclude with a group reflection to discuss the impact of the day’s events and to discuss how continuing to volunteer can address issues our community is faced with today. Volunteers will have an opportunity to honor the lives of victims and heroes of 9/11 with personal stories during the tribute portion of the activity.
At this time we have 200 Berry and PNC Bank employees signed up to participate as volunteers. Additional volunteers will be recruited using the online tool, HandsOn Connect, the Diversity and Inclusion Volunteer Fair held in July, and the weekly advertisement of upcoming volunteer opportunities in the Sunday Dayton Daily Newspaper. A meeting is scheduled for early August to confirm the participation of Wright Patterson Air Force Base staff and employees. The anticipated number of volunteers expected to participate in the service tributes on Friday, September 9th is 350 to 400. The Volunteer Connection AmeriCorps Service Participant will also help to recruit volunteers at local schools and universities as a part of our new youth engagement initiative, Youth Changing the World. Volunteer Connection has partnerships with the following schools and universities to recruit students to participate; Wright State University, University of Dayton, Central State University, Wilberforce University, Sinclair Community College, Chaminade Julienne High School, Spring Valley Academy, Fairview Pre-k – 8 School, Carroll High School, Dayton Early College Academy and Thurgood Marshall High School.
Volunteer Connection works with Project Leaders to collect accurate data on participants by using sign-in forms as volunteers arrive on the day of events. The sign-in forms include contact information for each volunteer along with the total number of hours they contributed for the day. Once all the sign-in sheets have been turned in after the completion of the project, a comparison is done to verify the final count of volunteers that actually participated versus the total of volunteers that signed up.
Volunteer Connection will ask that all organizations, agencies, businesses, volunteer groups, schools and universities that will be participating in our 9/11 National Day of Service Events will promote projects at their locations, on their WebPages, newsletters, community letters, etc. In addition to this, Volunteer Connection also uses social networking where we advertise information via the Dayton Daily News, Xenia Gazette, Register Herald, and www.VolunteerDayton.org. Information on this year’s 9/11 National Day of Service has already been promoted by United Way’s CEO in weekly reports to stakeholders and partner agencies for the past month. United Way of the Greater Dayton Area Marketing Department also distributes press releases and works with local news stations for media coverage for the day of events.