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Lend a Hand Through Volunteer Germantown

Post Date:04/06/2018 7:00 AM
The City of Germantown is excited to announce the launch of our Volunteer Germantown program in partnership with Volunteer Odyssey. Volunteer Germantown will serve as a hub to connect you and your family with volunteer opportunities within the Germantown community and the greater Memphis area.

The April launch of Volunteer Germantown program coincides with “National Volunteer Month.” In addition, this April is particularly symbolic in the Mid-South as April 4 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There is no better way to live out the legacy of Dr. King, than through volunteerism and acts of service to the community. In 2015, during the development of the Germantown Forward 2030 strategic plan, residents identified “a culture of excellence and kindness” as a community value. The Germantown community has a long tradition of altruism, civic participation, charitable giving and philanthropy.

Volunteer Odyssey was founded in 2012 by Dr. Sarah Petschonek, a Houston High School alumna. In that year, Dr. Petschonek spent 30 days volunteering with 30 different nonprofits in Memphis and documenting her journey online. It was a rewarding experience, but a very difficult one in terms of lining up quality volunteer opportunities. Curious whether this problem existed elsewhere, she traveled across the country researching volunteer opportunities in other cities and learning best practices. Dr. Petschonek brought that knowledge back to Memphis and began Volunteer Odyssey.

Volunteer Odyssey focuses on finding high quality volunteer opportunities and creates innovative volunteer programming to ensure that everyone has access to volunteerism. Volunteer Odyssey utilizes a system called Volunteer Compass, a comprehensive tool for volunteers to explore quality volunteer opportunities in our area. With this system, volunteers sign up immediately online or reach out directly to the provided point of contact for various nonprofit partners. All of the non-profit partners on the system have been vetted by a Volunteer Odyssey team member and meet the Volunteer Odyssey quality standards. This clear, direct approach removes the guesswork about which organization to approach and how to get started. It also allows volunteers to envision their impact. The vision for Volunteer Germantown is to be the starting point for your own volunteer journey and to help you become deeply involved in the community.

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