The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners recently approved a resolution to implement a countywide volunteer program, establishing a goal to reach one million volunteer hours per year by 2015. While some departments already have active volunteer programs in place, the comprehensive Volunteer Gwinnett program was developed in response to an Engage Gwinnett committee recommendation to engage residents in volunteer activities to support government operations and potentially save money.
Gwinnett resident and 12Stone Church CFO Norwood Davis served on the Engage Gwinnett committee and championed the idea of a countywide volunteer program. Davis said, “Volunteer Gwinnett gives residents an opportunity to serve one another for the common good. Everyone can make a difference, and I encourage my fellow residents to join me in keeping our community a great place to live, work and play.”#
The Volunteer Gwinnett program will offer an easy way for interested residents to read about available volunteer opportunities and sign up online. Development of the website is underway. The program will also include a standardized training and registration process along with events to recognize volunteers for their service. In addition, each county department, agency and office has designated staff to manage their volunteer opportunities and volunteers.
Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash said, “I am already so thankful for the folks who give their time and talent to county government through our existing volunteer programs. I look forward to seeing the results of involving even more citizens through this new countywide initiative. I hope all of our volunteers will feel a sense of community and accomplishment through their service. We certainly appreciate it.”#
Volunteerism was on District 3 Commissioner Mike Beaudreau”s mind when he established goals for 2011, including one to “start a marketing campaign to raise awareness of how people could volunteer and provide a website where those interested in volunteering could register.”#
Many county departments already use volunteers to assist with events and daily activities. In 2010, volunteers with various Gwinnett County departments logged more than 300,000 hours of service.