Aurora University Wackerlin Center and Fox Valley United Way launch virtual volunteer center

Cody Fuerst

Cody Fuerst, AU '14, talks about the opportunities Volunteer Fox Valley will provide to Aurora University students and the surrounding community during the February 18 launch event.

As we continue to connect more frequently through technology, Fox Valley United Way and Aurora University’s Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action are teaming up to make volunteering more productive, fun and engaging through Volunteer Fox Valley (VFV). The easy-to-use, virtual volunteer center will allow community members, businesses and AU students to get connected to volunteer opportunities in the area.

“The Wackerlin Center’s commitment to learning through serving is at the heart of this collaboration with the Fox Valley United Way,” said Ted Parge, Executive Vice President of Aurora University. “Our participation in Volunteer Fox Valley is a wonderful way to advance our mission of offering students experiences in the areas of volunteerism, leadership and putting their faith into action.”

“Volunteer Fox Valley will serve as a connection for Aurora University students to the opportunities and needs that the Aurora community has to offer,” said Cody Fuerst, AU ’14. “This partnership will provide an additional pathway to discover new interests and passions through service.”

VFV is designed to streamline the process of volunteer recruitment by allowing nonprofit organizations to communicate their current opportunities using a common platform. The platform enables organizations to explain their programs and services, as well as list current volunteer, in-kind and advocacy needs as well as list upcoming events.

“The Fox Valley United Way takes the collective power of a caring community and puts it to work to help those in need,” said Michael Meyer, CEO Fox Valley United Way. “Volunteer Fox Valley raises that power to a new level, matching volunteers with just the right opportunities to serve and giving social service agencies a platform for connecting with concerned citizens.”

More than 40 local organizations, including Mutual Ground, a nonprofit social service agency serving victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in Aurora, Ill., have already signed up and look forward to being a part of the new platform.

“We are extremely excited for the opportunity to be a part of the new volunteer initiative,” said Michelle Meyer, Executive Director of Mutual Ground. “This is a great way to match volunteers to nonprofits who desperately need their help. Volunteer Fox Valley will allow Mutual Ground and other nonprofits in our area to extend our reach into the community to find dedicated volunteers who would like to support our individual missions.”

Potential volunteers also are invited to create individual profiles tailored to their schedules and interests. Volunteers are able to join groups, become fans of agencies that matter to them and track agencies’ needs and events. Individuals in search of volunteer opportunities may also use Volunteer Fox Valley to conduct detailed searches on open opportunities.

“As Mayor, people ask me all the time how they can be more involved and connected in Aurora,” said Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner. “Volunteer Fox Valley helps bridge that connection by providing residents a one-stop-shop to learn how volunteering their time, talents and resources in our community can change lives.”

Visit volunteerfoxvalley.org to learn more.