Last week SoCal Connected's Twitter friend @volunteerwords asked if Get Involved had sent any link love to a quartet of volunteer-themed sites.
Ask and you shall, if not receive, certainly get involved!
The #1 search result for volunteer on Google, this site served up over 100 million volunteer themed pages last year, and has helped connect over 63,000 organizations and non-profits with web surfing do-gooders. A recent query asking for Los Angeles volunteering opportunities produced over 1400 results, from calls for counselors to requests for a "Hair/Makeup Consultant" to work with "men, women, and at-risk youth. Teaching them proper business grooming habits when re/rentering work force."
Part of the non-profit Action Without Borders, Idealist.org offers a full range of services tied to the notion of better-world-building, from nonprofit job listings to MeetUp.com-style local groups Of course, those of you just looking to get involved can will find the full range of opportunities, like this call for a marketing executive to do some pro bono client management.
The Hands On Network traces its figurative start to then-President George H.W. Bush's 1988 Republican National Convention acceptance speech where he evoked the notion of an American self-organizing into a constellation of a "thousand points of light" addressing local problems:
This is America: the Knights of Columbus, the Grange, Hadassah, the Disabled American Veterans, the Order of Ahepa, the Business and Professional Women of America, the union hall, the Bible study group, LULAC, "Holy Name" -- a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.
The organization boasts a national network of Action Centers as well as planning resources for individuals looking to launch their own project. They also manage (as pointed out by today's twitter hero @volunteerwords) National Volunteer Week, which falls in April this year.
Perhaps owing to their origins in the pre-web 80s, the Hands on Network also maintains 1-800-VOLUNTEER, where callers can speak directly to live volunteers about opportunities to do good in their areas. Get Involved was initially completely confused - could they be referring to some kind IPhone app? - but then we called and found out about Para Los Niños Youth Development Services (YDS), which "serves youth ages 14 through 20, currently in foster care."
By the way, you know you live in the future when even your jokes have their own websites. Take that crack above about thinking 1-800-Volunteer was an IPhone app. Moments after writing it, Get Involved had a moment of CYA-induced anxiety and decided to run our punchline by the Google oracle. Look what it spit back out:
The Extraordinaries is smartphone software that allows millions of volunteers to perform tasks on their smartphones in just a few minutes. We make volunteering feel like a video game to encourage repetition and competition. People login to our system from any place on Earth within cell reception, and constructively use small windows of spare time for science, medicine, nonprofits, government, and more. [full story]
So yes; absolutely, Southern California. We don't know about Santa Claus, but someone is definitely working on an IPhone volunteering app.