Website aims to streamline local volunteering opportunities

Local non-profit and area colleges are teaming up to make volunteering easier than ever in our community with a new non-profit networking website.

It’s called U-Get-Connected. The website is open to anyone, but creators of the site said they hope it will especially help college kids get out and volunteer.

Thanks to University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Viterbo University and Western Technical College there are thousands of college student’s right here in La Crosse. For years each campus has tried connecting those students with non-profits, by publishing a community agency guide, but it wasn’t very effective.

“As soon as we published it, it might go out of date, because someone might have changed, and it really wasn’t a place where you could post needs you just posted who you were,” Jaralee Richter, a student leadership coordinator at University of Wisconsin La Crosse.

Now those three colleges and Great Rivers United Way are joining forces by creating

“We really wanted this platform to represent all of our campuses so that our community agencies only need to be interfaced once,” Richter said.

The website will be a database filled with non-profit agencies in the area.

“They don’t have to make phone calls, they don’t try to round up volunteers, they simply post a profile and they post needs,” Richter said.

Students will be able to use the site as a one stop shop for volunteer opportunities, and can even create their own profile listing their skills.

“People are going to want to do it more than if they had to spend hours and hours trying to find places to go and find events to work at,” said Kara Blumer, a sophomore at UW-La Crosse.

While the initiative is headed by area colleges, organizers said they hope the website will help both college students and community members alike get more involved.

“We really want people to become active citizens within the place they live, so that we can make it a better place,” Richter said.
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