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About The Volunteer Center


Our Mission:

The Volunteer Center serves nonprofit organizations, employers and individuals by coordinating their talents and resources, to build the capacity of agencies with the goal of enhancing the quality of life in our communities through volunteerism.

Our History:

The Volunteer Center was founded in 1973 by the Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk and the United Way of Stamford. Throughout the years, it has met the needs of our community through expanded programs and services. Significant events in the history of the Volunteer center are:

 

Significant events in the history of The Volunteer Center are: 
1973
Founded as the Voluntary Action Center by Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk and United Way of Stamford; started recruiting volunteers for nonprofit agencies.
1975
The Center joined the Committee on Training and Employment and the United Way of Stamford in forming the Joint Committee on Community Agency Board Training. 
1978
The Court Program, which allows selected first time offenders to replace fines, penalties or jail sentences with restitution through community service, was instituted in the Superior Court.
1979
The Center formed a partnership with Darien United Way & Community Council to launch the annual Darien Volunteer Recognition Day, which provides a public venue for agencies to honor volunteers.
1980
DOVIA (Directors of Volunteers in Agencies) was formed to promote the profession of volunteer administration. 
1981
Instituted recruitment from the business community to provide short-term technical assistance, board members and training to area agencies.
1983
Created the Item Donation Program (then called the Corporate Resource Program), to administer the equitable distribution of donated goods and equipment.
1984
Funding was provided by the Fairfield County Foundation to fund the Training Center, which enabled The Center to consolidate and refine its training programs which provide training to individual agencies, workshops for agency boards and trainings for executive staff.
1986
Changed name to The Volunteer Center of Southwestern Fairfield County; became the professional advisor to the area's Corporate Volunteer Council, which facilitates employee volunteer programs and joint business volunteer projects. 
1988
Formed Corporate Volunteers in Action CVIA, (now called Community Volunteers in Action),  through which young professionals can participate in a variety of one-time volunteer programs. The same year the Center took part in the formation of ANEVC (Association of New England Volunteer Centers).
1991
Established Holiday Helpers in partnership with The Advocate and Greenwich Time which matches the holiday needs of local agencies.
1995
Heart of Gold Award Dinner is founded by Board President, John P. Archer, to recognize the importance of corporate leadership to building healthy communities through volunteerism. The Center won the national Make A Difference Day Award.
1996
Stamford Volunteer Day was established by Board President, Beth Harvey. The same year, Executive Director, Roberta Eichler, was appointed to Points of Light Foundation's National Council of Volunteer Centers.
1997
Represented Southwestern Fairfield County at the President's Summit for America's Future in Philadelphia. The same year The Center began an important collaboration with Pro Bono Partnership to offer legal workshops for agency board members and management staff.
1998
Created the Corporate Partner Sponsorship Program, which encourages companies to provide significant financial support.  New Canaan Volunteer Recognition Day and Greenwich Volunteer Recognition Day were launched.  Board member, Polly O'Brien, helped form the Workplace Volunteer Council, (WVC) a coalition of businesses that recognize the critical importance of volunteerism. WVC's first initiative was Back to School Clothes for Kids followed by Suds To Go.
2000
Convened community organizations to present the Promise to Our Youth Summit with Colin Powell as keynote speaker.  The same year The Center received a Communications Excellence Award for its presentation folders.
2001
Formed the Nonprofit Resource Center (NRC), which provides up-to-date resources to nonprofit agencies at the Ferguson Library and workshops which increase the management effectiveness of agencies.  The Workplace Volunteer Council developed Baskets for Families Achieving Self-Sufficiency.
2002
The Center's Website was launched, www.ucanhelp.org, with an online searchable database of volunteer opportunities.  The WVC initiated Business to Books starting with an annual read-a-thon followed by Summer Reading Partners.  The Center offered a week-long Grantsmanship Center proposal-writing workshop.
2003
The Center formed a partnership with APT, Inc. to provide a Human Resource Management Workshop Series for nonprofit managers.  Purdue Pharma became the first corporate sponsor of Stamford Volunteer Recognition Day.  The Volunteer Center celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a gala called Red Hot Night. Volunteer Center Day was celebrated at a Bluefish Game at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport.
2004
The Volunteer Center partnered with local business leaders to present the following workshops:  "On-boarding:  For Leaders Moving into New Roles" by PrimeGenesis; "Leadership at the Core and on the Edge" by Lee Hecht Harrison; "Volunteers are Vital:  Effective Practices for Managing Volunteers" by Diane Rosenthal and Melissa McAteer; and "Strategic Planning" and a series of three workshops on Human Resource Management by The Advocate & Greenwich Time. 
2005
The Volunteer Center partnered with the Points of Light Foundation to provide The Volunteer Management Training Series(VMTS) a series of four-six courses on engaging volunteers more effectively in agencies. Thomson became the sponsor for Stamford Volunteer Day.
2006
The Volunteer Center presented the first Heart of Gold Scholarship to a deserving youth volunteer at its annual Heart of Gold dinner. The $5,000 scholarship was named in honor of the Heart of Gold Award recipient:"The Anne M. Mulcahy Heart of Gold Scholarship."
2007
The Volunteer Center presented the second Heart of Gold Scholarship to a deserving youth volunteer at its annual Heart of Gold dinner. The $5,000 scholarship was named in honor of the Heart of Gold Award recipient:"The James H. Quigley Heart of Gold Scholarship."

 

Our Programs:

The Volunteer Center offers a variety of programs designed to mobilize people and resources to deliver creative solutions for a healthy community, serving Greenwich and Stamford  Connecticut.

Our programs empower our volunteers, strengthen our agencies, add value to businesses, serve our communities and make a difference.

  • Volunteer Recruitment and Referral
     
  • Community Volunteers In Action (CVIA)
     
  • Item Donations Program
     
  • Workplace Volunteer Council (WVC)
  • Nonprofit Professional Development  Workshops

 

 

 


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The inclusion of any organization or person in this database does not constitute a representation, warranty, or endorsement with respect to the competence, suitability, or reliability of such organization or person by The Volunteer Center; nor does The Volunteer Center sponsor or endorse any third-party web site. Legal Notices