W.Va. Web site links agencies to volunteers

February 24, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

RANSON, W.Va. - Local officials on Monday learned about a Web site that can greatly enhance the ability of organizations to find volunteers.

The Web site,, can be used to find volunteer workers for a variety of needs, from helping a group of parents build a playground to assisting flood victims, said Jody Cottrill, program coordinator.

Cottrill explained the site to a group at Jefferson Memorial Hospital on Monday afternoon.

To match volunteers with groups, potential volunteers can go to the Web site and register, Cottrill said.

On the Web site, potential volunteers are asked a series of questions about what kind of jobs they are seeking, Cottrill said.


The workers may say they are interested in working with the elderly, toddlers or animals, Cottrill said.

Once the information is logged in, the volunteer hits a search key and is given a list of organizations that match the person's interest, she said.

The volunteer can click through different areas of the Web site to find out more about the organizations and contact persons, Cottrill said.

Cottrill said the Web site should offer a much more efficient means of connecting volunteers with organizations in need of help.

Pamela Holstein-Wallace said the Web site is an advantage because it provides "one-stop shopping" for organizations searching for volunteers.

Holstein-Wallace is involved in a number of organizations in Jefferson County and is a former spokeswoman for Jefferson Memorial Hospital.

Cottrill said she knows firsthand how tough it can be to match volunteers with needs.

During severe flooding in the state in 2002, Cottrill said she wanted to volunteer to help flood victims but did not know how to contact anyone.

With the Web site, Cottrill said she envisions people from throughout the world coming to the state to help with projects.

"This is the Internet. It is open to the world," Cottrill said.

The site was created using a $630,000 federal grant awarded to the state Commission for National and Community Service, Cottrill said.

The money was used to develop software for the Web site and to set up county-level organizations to help run the project, Cottrill said.

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