Julianne Alberty's blog

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6th Annual Teen Essay Contest

Volunteer Square is thrilled to kick off our 6th annual high school essay contest in partnership with our friends at Hearst Connecticut Media. The essay contest invites high school students in Connecticut to tell us "Why volunteering and making an impact on their community is important?"

VolunteerSquare.com, a free tool that connects volunteers with nonprofit organizations in Connecticut, is committed to providing programs for young people and encouraging high school students to get involved in their communities. We believe the energy and enthusiasm high school students bring to a project, combined with their drive to work hard and give back, are essential components to building stronger volunteer communities.

To enter the contest, tell us, in 500 words or less, "Why volunteering and making an impact on your community important to you?” To be eligible to participate you must be a student, 13 to 21 years old and attend a Connecticut public or private school. Essays will ONLY be accepted Thursday, November 1, 2018, through Thursday, November 8, 2018. To submit your essay, email it to essays@volunteersquare.com. Important note: essays received before or after these dates will not be considered.

Become a Volunteer Square Intern

In an effort to expand opportunities for teenagers and build stronger volunteer communities in Fairfield County, the Volunteer Square internship provides training and experience with digital marketing, social media, website maintenance, and community relations high school schools across Connecticut. 

Since the program began in the fall of 2016, we've welcomed 31 interns from 17 towns. As volunteer ambassadors in their schools, area towns and their peer groups, the high school interns are crucial to our organization and without their project coordination and volunteer recruitment, we would not be able to make such a large impact in area towns.

This year the interns started organizing monthly community volunteer projects such as a community wide clean up of Veteran's Park in Norwalk on Earth Day and preparing 5,000 bags for the National Postal Food Drive. VS interns also collaborated with the staff from one our corporate clients to transform the Domus school building in Stamford, into a summer camp space and organized a back-to-school supply drive for students at The Lighthouse After-School Program in Bridgeport.  

Here is what some of our interns have said about the program!

 "I love that this internship gets me more involved in my community and that I get to meet other people that are doing the same."

 "It's amazing how much one week of volunteering during my internship lifted my spirits. If you ever lose faith in humanity, go volunteer. I can guarantee it will be restored quickly."

August 2018 Volunteer of the Month

“As humans, we need to make connections and feel that we are bringing about positive change. Volunteering offers both opportunities.” These are thoughts shared by Cathy Ryan Sherman, our August 2018 Volunteer of the Month. Nominated by Betty Cordellos of Norwalk Community Health Center, we are thrilled to honor Cathy and share her story.

A lifelong volunteer, Cathy’s first major commitment was with the Domestic Violence Crisis Center in Norwalk almost 30 years ago. At a brainstorming meeting, she suggested a silent and live auction as a fundraiser to benefit the organization. Cathy then became one of the event co-chairs. At the time, she also worked for her husband and they had a young son at home. Responsible for soliciting local businesses to get donations for the auctions, she went all over town with her son in tow to get the job done. Her hard work and success on that event led to her joining the board of directors and serving two consecutive terms.

Top 5 Benefits for Teen Volunteers

Volunteering has a powerful and positive effect on young people. It prepares them for college and job placement, as well as improves their overall well-being. To encourage teens to get involved we put together a list of the Top 5 Benefits for Teen Volunteers. We hope it inspires you to get started today!

Volunteer Square has a thriving high school internship program and we are always looking for new members. For more information about how to get teens can get involved with their community and be ambassadors in their peer group, learn more about our internship program on our site.

Top 5 Benefits for Teen Volunteers

#5: GAIN EXPERIENCE:
Learn a new skill, explore career options and work with people who will share their knowledge with you. Absorb everything you can about the agency you are volunteering for and the services they provide.

#4: NETWORK:
Get to know the people you are volunteering with and the staff at the agency where you are working. Ask questions! Most will be more than happy to share their experience with you and this will help as you are thinking about college and job placement. You can even ask your supporters for a reference!

#3: IT’S GOOD FOR YOU:
It has been proven that volunteering can reduce stress and make you healthier, both physically and mentally. Volunteering also promotes personal growth and self-esteem. Understanding the needs of the community you are volunteering for helps to develop empathy.

#2: BUILD YOUR RESUME:

Financial Accounting Foundation Helps Domus Prep for Summer Camp

 

We love welcoming guest bloggers to the Volunteer Square blog. This week we are thrilled to share a post from the Financial Accounting Foundation, Financial Accounting Standards Board, and Governmental Accounting Standards Board Community Outreach, and Activities Team. Volunteer Square had the pleasure of helping their team coordinate a day of service at Domus on June 29th. They even invited our high school interns to participate. It was a great day and we want to thank the team for writing this fantastic blog post about the day's events!

Become a guest blogger on VolunteerSquare.com. Do you have a story about your community to share? Let us know, we want to hear from you

 

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On June 29, close to 40 of our FAF, FASB, and GASB staff, their kids, and several high school volunteers gave their time and considerable elbow grease to support our Summer community outreach program at Domus—a local nonprofit that serves more than 1,100 children by helping them acquire the life and academic skills they need to succeed in school and ultimately lead satisfying and productive lives.

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