Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ’What are you doing for others?’
The immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., remind us of our obligation to give of ourselves to better the world around us. The best of intentions, however, are frequently stymied by the dilemma of how to begin.
The Louisville District Leadership Development Program (LDP) members sought to remedy that problem with the creation of the Community Outreach Program—an internal website designed to promote volunteerism within the district using an organized, central system for information sharing and collaboration.
"If you have the personal drive to help others, but you don’t know where to begin, you can go to our site to find a list of opportunities where you can volunteer in the community," said Aaron Steele, engineering division.
The site, built on the SharePoint platform, was created to be a user-driven hub in which any Louisville District employee can find opportunities to volunteer as well as post upcoming events to inform the rest of the work force.
"The more people that use it, the more useful it will be," said Steele.
The site contains a calendar and list of current causes in which district employees can participate, along with associated information, locations and participation requirements. Volunteer opportunities range from STEM programs and Corps lake cleanups to local science fairs and food banks. Also included are opportunities to represent and promote the district through public speaking engagements, recruitment and professional stewardship.
"Users can set up alerts to be emailed about any news related to the events they’re interested in," said Marcus Doddridge, engineering division. He added that district employees are encouraged to create listings for events. "Whether they’re looking for volunteers to clean up a park, serve food at a church fundraiser or want a professional to speak at their child’s school, this site is a great place to get something new started."
Employees should also use the site to report their own volunteer activity. Answering a few simple questions will allow district leadership to understand the scope of volunteerism across the district as well as to provide incentives for volunteer activity.
"Fundamentally, we want people to take ownership of the site," said Doddridge. "It’s there for their use."