Volunteer Hampton Roads: Helping Enhance the Community Through Volunteerism

Volunteer Hampton Roads: Helping Enhance the Community Through Volunteerism

By Stephanie Gorham, Executive Director

I joined the Volunteer Hampton Roads team in June of 2018 as the Executive Director. I am thrilled to be part of an organization that is focused on connecting businesses with opportunities, which creates a positive impact on our community by equipping nonprofits with resources they need to achieve their mission; and mobilizing a community of volunteers to create change.  

People often ask, what is it that Volunteer Hampton Roads does?  The best way to answer that question is to share with you what we did, what we do and what we will do to enhance the well-being of our community.  

2018 was a wonderful year for Volunteer Hampton Roads!  

Our VolunTier Vision program went live early in the year and we were able to match over 100 individuals to skilled volunteer and board-service opportunities in Hampton Roads. Nonprofit organizations now count on Volunteer Hampton Roads to recruit the best talent in our region to address their needs and increase their impact in the community.

We had a successful year of volunteer service projects beginning with our Hunger Heroes event in June.  Three hundred volunteers spent their Saturday morning at Virginia Wesleyan University helping out those with food insecurity.  They packed 600 food boxes for families who benefit from the services of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia.  This event kicked off our Summer of Service, which also included a Teacher’s Closet project that collected needed school supplies for area schools and engaged volunteers from 20 local businesses who served over 8,743 hours.  We didn’t stop there, instead, we moved right into our Family Volunteer Day  the weekend before Thanksgiving.  During that event over 350 volunteers of all ages from 11 companies joined us to complete service projects to help eight area nonprofits. Our volunteers assisted Families of Autistic Children of Tidewater in putting on a field day; they painted and placed over 300 rocks for the Children’s Health Program that brought awareness to the importance of a child’s first 2,000 days of life; created 800 emergency preparedness kits for seniors who receive Meals-on-Wheels; formed 2,000 seed bombs that the Elizabeth River 

Project will plant on Arbor Day, and wrapped 120 birthday gifts for children in foster care. 

From big events, to everyday tasks, our community relies on Volunteer Hampton Roads to harness the power of volunteerism to make a difference in Hampton Roads. Last year, through our website, nonprofit organizations engaged more than 2,000 volunteers to support 764 projects, ranging from event staff for local races and bingo fundraisers, to literacy tutors and Meals-on-Wheels drivers.  That all adds up to more than 23,800 donated hours! 

Looking for a long-term volunteer relationship with an organization?  Come see us!  We are the volunteer headhunters of Hampton Roads.  Launched last year, our VolunTier Vision program will match you to the perfect volunteer opportunity.

Through VolunTier Vision, Volunteer Hampton Roads matches volunteers with specific skills to nonprofit organizations in need of those skills.  The VolunTier talent bank is filled with individuals who are looking to donate their expertise to nonprofits through skilled volunteering or board service.  These volunteers are key resources to the nonprofits with whom they are matched, and through the donation of their professional service and time, they help the organization to achieve their mission and expand their capacity to help the community.

Nonprofit organizations complete our free assessment — entering their board or skilled needs into the VolunTier database.  Our software uses their mission and focus of services, along with the nonprofit’s specific needs to match them to volunteers who have indicated they are interested in the organization’s cause and are qualified to fill their needs.  By eliminating the stress and guess work of finding a well-suited match, Volunteer Hampton Roads maximizes the impact made by both groups.

The skilled volunteers we engage start out working on projects that utilize their professional skills, such as accounting or information technology. As they complete projects, many volunteers gain a better understanding of the nonprofit and form a relationship with the group.  As a result, they can move up a tier of service to donate time and expertise through board service.  Volunteers who already have board experience can be placed on a board that needs members with their specific skills and background.  

With more than 2,000 nonprofits in Hampton Roads, there are still hundreds of nonprofits that have needs to be filled.  Already, hundreds of community-minded individuals are offering their skills and knowledge to serve the community.  Would you like to join them?  Fill out your profile at volunteerhr.org/vvapp.

Our work is only a reality because of the generous support of the Hampton Roads community.  We hope you will join us to help build the capacity of our area’s nonprofits.