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Volunteer Center convenes

August 20, 2012
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

Wouldn't it be great if all the volunteer groups in Emmet County could join forces so there was no duplication of efforts and as many people were helped as possible?

Well, that was the purpose of the organizational meeting of the Emmet County Volunteer Center Monday at Iowa Lakes Community College. Funded by an Emmet County Community Foundation grant, the center for the next year will work in conjunction with the office of Emmet County RSVP coordinator Linda Anderson.

Mary Steele, who's the overall RSVP director for Clay, Palo Alto, Kossuth, Dickinson and Emmet counties for Iowa Lakes which hosts the program, told about 20 representatives of volunteer organizations present that RSVP can place volunteers with any public agency or individual who needs help. The purpose of the grant is to cultivate volunteer efforts of those under the 55-and-up age bracket of RSVP volunteers.

"We need to create a culture of service," said Steele. "We really need to get the younger folks involved."

Steele said similar efforts are going on now in Clay and Kossuth counties and that there are plans later for Palo Alto county. She said a separate program to coordinate across-the-board volunteer efforts has been in place in Dickinson County for some years now.

Steele said she would like to identify 10-12 people for a volunteer start-up team. The first nine months to a year, the program would locate with RSVP and share staff - in Emmet County that would be Linda Anderson, Emmet County RSVP coordinator.

Steele said another issue was whether the volunteer center should be organized as a 501(c)3 corporation.

Steele said volunteers would be sought for ongoing volunteer opportunities or for specific events. Families, businesses or corporate groups could all volunteer, she said.

Volunteers are needed in a number of areas, including volunteer recruitment, identifying community needs, fundraising/financial, marketing/public relations and Web site design/maintenance.

Anyone with questions about the program may call Steele at (712) 262-8633. Anyone who would like to serve on a committee may contact Linda Anderson at 362-7929.



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