New site lauches, focused on connecting volunteers with charitable organizations
High school and college students often search for volunteer opportunities to help bolster their resumes. Many retirees feel a responsibility to give back to their community. Those factors led to the creation of a new website dedicated solely to the numerous volunteering opportunities in Fairfield County.
Ned Brokaw had an idea for a simple site for Darien that would post information about local organizations that were in need of volunteers. However, as work began on the site the original idea eventually evolved into a complex creation that was more than just a charity listing.
"Basically we're trying to really be a resource for the community," Brokaw said. "We're trying to create a site where we can bring out the fun and excitement in volunteering, and to be able to form a better connection between the volunteer and the organization.
It was then that Brokaw created volunteersquare.com, a site that provides information for numerous charitable agencies around the area.
One of the problems Brokaw had with sites that simply listed charitable organizations was that they wouldn't provide enough information for potential volunteers to determine whether they were a right fit.
"We're trying to create a better match by giving people more of an idea of what is going on at that organization," Brokaw said. "For instance, we put together a series of videos about some of the agencies and we're hoping people will post pictures and comments about their experience with that agency."
Although the site caters to some of the more well known agencies in town, such as Person-to-Person and Domus, Brokaw said he wants to bring more visibility to some of the agencies that people don't know as much about.
"There are smaller agencies, like Kids Helping Kids, without a lot of visibility and this site gives them more of a showing," Brokaw said.
One of the features of the site that Brokaw is particularly proud of is the incubator section. The incubator allows users to post ideas and then the community can vote on those ideas, Brokaw said.
"The great thing about the site is that it is really interactive," Brokaw said. "It's a lot like Facebook so kids already know how to post and do other things."
Brokaw said he envisions the site being utilized for years to come and for more ideas to become a reality as a result of the site.
"We have a bunch of blogs already and I really hope people log on and utilize what the site offers," Brokaw said.
With so many volunteer resources literally just a click away, Brokaw hopes more kids will get involved.
"The idea is to get kids out from under their iPads and phones and away from the texting," Brokaw said.
Currently, the site provides information for volunteer opportunities in lower Fairfield County. For more information log onto www.volunteersquare.com.