Tuesday, September 29, 2009

VSD Referral Program

Working at Volunteer San Diego (VSD) to aid people in finding satisfying volunteer opportunities has opened my eyes to the simple ways one person can help another to have a meaningful experience. The Referral Program that our organization offers has been incredibly satisfying. Often an eager prospective volunteer will call with a specific cause in mind that speaks to them individually. Homelessness, tutoring or a myriad of other issues that effect humanity and more immediately San Diego County, attracts attention from many caring people from all walks of life. Often a person who wants to volunteer but who is unsure of what kind of venue will suit them will call needing assistance with their philanthropic investigations. In this capacity, I offer direction and instruction on searching our website, a website that has a page to conduct detailed searches according to zip code, topic and other criteria.

In addition, the court system connects us with many people who need to complete mandatory hours of service in accordance with the kind of violation committed. Prospective volunteers generally feel relieved when they realize I am here to assist them in finding options and opening doors. Often, the mandatory hours people serve help them to develop and deepen their interests in things that touch many lives. Who knew that a situation ordered by a legal entity could develop into something that heals the spirit and enriches the lives of so many?

Adrianne Burleigh, former Citizen Action AmeriCorps Volunteer Outreach Coordinator
Volunteer San Diego

If you want to help connect people to volunteer opportunities, please click here to read more about being a Volunteer Referral Specialist.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Volunteer San Diego Welcomes New Staff and AmeriCorps members!

First of all, please extend a warm welcome to Veronica Baker, VSD’s new Development Director! Veronica has been involved with nonprofit organizations her entire life, primarily in a fundraising capacity. Her previous affiliations include Mainly Mozart, Kids Korps USA, Cygnet Theatre, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego, and North Coast Repertory Theatre. Veronica is passionate about helping nonprofits succeed, and is excited to be involved with an organization that plays such a vital role in helping build a stronger community.

The end of summer often signifies the beginning of new AmeriCorps terms. We also said bittersweet goodbyes to our former AmeriCorps members, Adrianne Burleigh and Brandi Love, as well as staff member Seth Connolly. We wish them the best of luck in their next adventures! Please welcome our newest AmeriCorps members!

Sharon Lynn, Volunteer Relations Coordinator
Citizen Action AmeriCorps

I have been a volunteer in the Volunteer San Diego office as a special projects assistant for the last two years. I love the work Volunteer San Diego does for the San Diego community at large and how they support both sides of the volunteer equation – the individuals who volunteer and the agencies that benefit from the services provided by the volunteers.

Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I am starting a year of AmeriCorps service here. I now get to dive further into projects that I am already excited about.

I was raised in Los Angeles, lived in Northern California for 13 years and have resided in San Diego since 2005. I am very involved in my congregational life and I lead one of our ministries. I also minister to inmates at Donovan State Prison. I love it in San Diego and have no intention of ever leaving!

Gypsy Walukones, Disaster Outreach Coordinator
Citizen Action AmeriCorps

I am thrilled to be working with Volunteer San Diego as the AmeriCorps Disaster Outreach Coordinator. I moved to San Diego a year ago after 5 years in Seattle. Originally from the fishing town of Petersburg in Southeast Alaska, I have always considered survival skills and emergency preparedness to be significant in my life. I began volunteering with Volunteer San Diego’s Disaster Cadre earlier this year and also completed the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department’s CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Academy this past spring, learning light search and rescue, basic fire suppression, emergency management and medical triage.

I have a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Oregon and am working on a Master of Forensic Science from National University. My previous work experience includes seasonal work processing salmon roe, collecting biological samples and statistical data for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, years as a barista in small, locally owned coffee shops, selling artisan cheeses in the Pike Place Market, and writing web content and search engine ad copy for small businesses.

Nathan Kieso, AmeriCorps VISTA
Community Organization Liaison

I came to VSD through AmeriCorps VISTA to see the world, meet interesting people and provide meaningful volunteer opportunities for them. Before coming to San Diego, I worked with AmeriCorps*VISTA in the recovery efforts after the 2008 Iowa flood, immediately after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Iowa. I was a lifelong resident of Iowa City, Iowa until I came to San Diego and I am thrilled to be here!

Jennie McDonald, AmeriCorps VISTA
Community Organization Liaison

I recently moved to San Diego from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and am glad to live closer to the ocean. For the past two years, I have worked as an intake coordinator for VSA arts of New Mexico, a non-profit arts organization that primarily serves people with disabilities. In 2006, I was an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) member, and worked in several projects throughout the Northeast and Gulf Coast, including Hurricane Katrina recovery work in Mississippi and Louisiana. I graduated from Colorado College in 2005 with a Bachelor’s in Women’s Studies. I am passionate about helping others, and look forward to this year of service and getting to know San Diego!

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Volunteer San Diego Executive Director Sue Carter Honored as One of San Diego's "40 Under 40"

Our own executive director, Sue Carter, was announced today as one of San Diego Metropolitan Magazine’s “40 Under 40”. It’s the magazine’s 10th year honoring San Diegans under 40 years old who have had significant impact on their community.

From the magazine’s own write-up:

Recognizing the achievements of these young business and civic leaders in whose hands lie our region’s future is a task we do not take lightly here at San Diego Metropolitan. And it’s one we can’t do alone. We want to thank this year’s judges who made the hard cuts from a number of excellent candidates down to the “Final 40.”
Nobody involved with Volunteer San Diego needed to be told of Sue’s vision, leadership (at the local, state, and national levels), hands-on approach, and passion for what she does. That was obvious.

But we’re thrilled to see her recognized on this level.

The recognition luncheon for this year’s honorees is Sept. 18 at the San Diego Convention Center. Tickets are $75 (benefiting the YWCA) and can be purchased by reaching Cyndi, Rebeca, or Lisa at 619.906.4104.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Welcome Our New Blogger Luz

Here I am, writing my first blog for Volunteer San Diego. I've been a volunteer for awhile, and I've volunteered in different countries. I have done research on volunteering and have found hundreds of web pages about volunteering examined from different perspectives. There is so much to be said about volunteering that I find it difficult to decide what to write about. A volunteer act is highly individual, and, therefore, it yields unique results. It is one-of-a-kind. No act is equal to another. Genuine philanthropy and volunteering creates endless situations, all with different results. I can speak about volunteering from my current experience and perspective as a teenager. From now on, I will be sharing my writing about volunteering with you. I hope that you find a uniqueness in my stories that you may be craving.

Luz Gozal is a volunteer youth blogger for Volunteer San Diego. Luz is 15 years old and has experience researching volunteerism and creating volunteer projects from the ground up!

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