02/15/2007: "United Way's Looking for a Volunteer Coordinator"
"In it's ten year history, we've given out almost a million dollars, all to important programs right here in San Juan County", reports Bonnie Gilmore, Director of United Way of San Juan County. The locally autonomous board of Directors of United Way recently completed an assessment of their accomplishments and identified steps to move on to the next level in helping meet the ongoing human service needs of our communities. "Doing a good job of identifying needs, and looking at solutions that prevent problems rather than just offer a "Band-Aid" approach has been a priority with this hard working group", Gilmore continues. "Generating community supported funding for those solutions is what we have been about"
Now that the organization has some maturity, including a one-quarter time paid director, office space donated by Key Bank, and a funding base of over $150,000 each year, the board is ready to embark on developing a volunteer component, where citizens can offer their time to help with a number of existing and some new activities that will help in furthering the prevention based impacts in our local communities.
Last October United Way of San Juan County hosted its first "Day of Caring" where volunteers on each island participated in helpful projects that make a difference in the lives of our citizens. Added Jan Kolton-Titus, Coordinator of the day. "It was so well received; we are planning to expand the event next fall."
In addition, board member Carol Marble has donated her library of resource materials to the United Way office where they are now available for loan. The collection includes many valuable books and pamphlets on Volunteers, Volunteer Management, and Non-profit Management, including Board Development. Carol provided workshops and board training throughout the islands and through Skagit Valley College for over fifteen years. Now many of her resources are available readily at the United Way office at Key Bank.
The board has agreed that volunteers can help in a number of ways, but stress that the first step is to find an individual who is willing to coordinate this program. Many important tasks are waiting for the right volunteer, so there is a huge need to fill this position and move forward. Marble adds "Developing this component for United Way of San Juan County is a natural progression for our organization, since most of our work has always been accomplished by a volunteer board. Now we will be able to allow others to share in additional work that we've identified will further improve our island families and neighborhoods." Call 378-4121 for information on office hours and to learn more about volunteer opportunities.
United Way of San Juan County's Mission is "Community volunteers working to raise funds to help the people of San Juan County care for one another".