Oregonians Can Donate Time, Skills for National Volunteer Month
Friday, April 1, 2022
April is National Volunteer Month, recognizing the time people give to help their local communities.
John Afryl, senior program manager for Hands On Greater Portland, the largest volunteer center in Oregon and a program of the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, said the past two years of the pandemic have been challenging for nonprofits that rely on volunteers. However, Afryl said interest in volunteering never fully waned.
"One of the things that's been so rewarding the past couple of years is seeing the influx of people really wanting to give back and support their community," he said.
Afryl said social distancing rules and other regulations because of COVID-19 often meant organizations had to limit the number of opportunities available. His group pairs people with volunteer opportunities in the areas that interest them. In pre-pandemic times, he said, about 20,000 people used its site every year.
Arfyl said volunteering is an easy first step to becoming engaged in community issues.
"As a result of that experience, they can feel so much more empowered," he said. "They can understand, 'Here's something I can do that's tangible, that's really making a difference in my community.' That makes them feel so much more fulfilled about their role in society."
Afryl noted there are ways even for people with busy schedules to get involved, including some duties that are just two to three hours in length and don't require training or an ongoing commitment.
"You can just go and take immediate action," he said. "You can fit volunteerism into your schedule, no matter if you are working days or nights, or weekends."
get more stories like this via email
Gov. Kathy Hochul has approved a new law, requiring schools to consider installing a silent, panic-alarm system. Approval of what's known as …
Democrats, Republicans and other political parties in Utah hold primary elections Tuesday, and advocates for older voters are promoting the …
A report from leaders in Washington state lays out how the services of four dams on the lower Snake River could be replaced in order to save ailing sa…
There are fewer than five months to go until the November General Election, in which Pennsylvania voters will select a new governor and U.S. Senator…
Health and Wellness
The State of Indiana wants to learn more about Hoosiers' experiences with substance-use disorder and addiction-recovery services. Administered by …
Seven in 10 Americans view inflation as the most pressing issue facing the nation right now, and in Maine, a new report seeks to explore the causes…
Iowa is getting more than $9 million to improve its system of care for stroke patients, and to address staffing issues among public-health workers in …
Health and Wellness
The Food and Drug Administration could soon ban the manufacture and sale of menthol cigarettes, a move advocates in Ohio said could have a positive …