By Starrla Cray
MCLEOD COUNTY, MN A volunteer open house for the United Way of McLeod County (UWMC) will take place Thursday, April 30 from 4 to 6 p .m. at the new Hope Center in Hutchinson.
“We’re looking to establish a core group of volunteers throughout McLeod County,” Executive Director Paul Thompson said.
United Way of McLeod County helps build strong communities throughout the region, according to the organization’s web site. A large part of its service includes providing funding for non-profit groups in McLeod County.
When the organization first started in 1962, it was called the United Fund of Hutchinson. In 1979, the group became known as Hutchinson Area United Way.
“For 40 years, we’ve really focused on Hutchinson,” Thompson said, but after becoming the United Way of McLeod County in 2007, the group is branching out to all parts of the county.
By coming to the volunteer open house, people can learn about opportunities to serve their communities, Thompson said. There are numerous ways to get involved, ranging from a monthly commitment to a one-time service.
“We’re looking for a diverse group of board members,” Thompson said. Some of the current board members are leaving, and Thompson said he is hoping for a larger group. “We’d love to have more representation from eastern McLeod County,” he said.
The 2009 Community Investment Review, set for Thursday, May 14 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Hutchinson Middle School, is an opportunity for anyone who would like to volunteer for one night. Each year, 40 to 50 local 501c3 non-profits present their programs to the board of directors and community volunteers. These teams decide which agencies will receive funding, and how much funding each should receive.
Participating in the review is a good way for community members to take an active role in determining where their donations will be going, Thompson said.
“It’s kind of a fun night,” he added.
Several other volunteer opportunities are also available through UWMC, including help with fundraisers, campaigns, “thank you” and “donor” calls, and a wide variety of subcommittees.
Anyone interested in volunteering can attend the open house or contact UWMC by phone at (320) 587-8018 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers can also register online at www.unitedwymcleodcounty.org.