January 18, 2018. Our program featured Karen Daly Smith who is the CEO of the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley. The Center has been serving the Lehigh Valley and surrounding communities for over 30 years as a capacity builder, resource provider and connector for the nonprofit and business communities as well as individuals who want to give back. Their core focus includes volunteer coordinating for individuals, teams and businesses. Extensive training programs are available that include board service, volunteer coordination training and nonprofit skill building. They annually connect over 25,000 volunteers working with 450+ nonprofit organizations and partnering with over 100 businesses.
Their volunteer events include the United Way Day of Caring and various events on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The Center’s Spirit of Volunteerism Awards honors local businesses, individuals or teams who have demonstrated excellence in community service and workplace volunteerism. The Breakfast For Champions provides recognition for non-profit volunteers. The Volunteer Challenge program encourages businesses to undertake a sustainable project for a non-profit organization. Global Youth Service Day celebrates and mobilizes the millions of young people who improve their communities each day of the year through service. Established in 1988, Global Youth Service Day is the largest service event in the world, and the only day of service dedicated to children and youth. The popular Happiness in a Shoe Box project delivered 6,000 shoe box-sized Holiday Hope Chests to Lehigh Valley children in 2017.
Volunteer opportunities are endless. Interested individuals can search their website based on multiple criteria to find the perfect opportunity. Volunteers can choose to work with children, adults, seniors, or animals. Activities might include food delivery, greeters, ushers, administrative work, skill-based in kind services, and mentoring. The Center is funded through corporate sponsors, grants, the United Way, and membership fees. More information can be found at www.volunteerlv.org.