The Volunteer Connect Douglas County (VCDC) online resource was introduced in 2015 by the Partnership of Douglas County Governments. VCDC is an interactive website that connects Douglas County-based nonprofit organizations in need of volunteers with individuals, families and groups looking for ways to help. Volunteers of all ages can locate multiple opportunities throughout Douglas County in one easy-to-find place.
The strategic program function of the portal includes a “Response to Emergency” category that gives volunteers the option to help in a community-wide emergency when completing their registration profile. Volunteers who opt in provide beneficial information such as specific skills or resources that could be used in the event of an emergency. Based on volunteers’ emergency response details, filtered reports can generate quick-turn communications to select groups of volunteers by category. Filtered reports can also be generated based on volunteers’ areas of interest, e.g., healthcare, family services, etc.
When COVID-19 surfaced earlier this year, the essential needs in our community multiplied very quickly. In addition to the portal tools already in place, VCDC partnered with the Douglas County Community Response COVID-19 initiative supporting “#strongertogether” to enable nonprofit organizations in Douglas County to post volunteer opportunities for services that help meet the needs of our community, such as with food banks, senior centers, etc.
As of September 9, 2020, a total of 215 volunteers have registered through the online portal for opportunities aligned with community help in response to COVID-19. The VCDC resource has been a significant factor in connecting, communicating with, and mobilizing our community during these unprecedented times.