Within the past year alone, our society has shown what it looks like to come together and be there for those in need. Long-term volunteers and those who sprung to action in times of crisis became the unsung heroes who supported our ­­­­community’s most crucial needs.

Historically held in late April, National Volunteer Week aims to shine a light on the people who have selflessly served their time and talent. In our community, Volunteer Administrators of the Southern Tier, or more often referred to as VAST, holds an Annual Volunteer Conference, which sets out to recognize hardworking volunteers in addition to workshops on all things volunteerism. Individuals and agencies come together on this special day to recognize and celebrate all the amazing work that volunteers have done in the community.

This year’s completely virtual conference aims to continue the recognition of volunteers while also furthering the discussion on the changing volunteer environment. See what’s in store:

 

9:00am – 10:15am: WELCOME & CULTURAL COMPETENCY: INCLUSION & AWARENESS WORKSHOP

9:00-9:15 Welcome Speech- Morgan White, VAST President & LTCOP Coordinator at Action for Older Persons

9:15-10:15 Cultural Competency: Inclusion & Awareness Workshop – Nikki Post, Director of the Southern Tier Community Center, A Division of the Children’s Home of Wyoming Conference

This Cultural Competency workshop is designed to provide better understanding and education when it comes to diversity, equity, inclusion, and awareness. The workshop will also provide avenues for open communication, talk about the importance of meeting youth and family needs in a culturally competent way, and providing the opportunity to self-reflect, share thoughts and ideas with your colleagues.

10:45am – 11:45am: VOLUNTEER OUTREACH: HOW TO ENGAGE DIVERSE POPULATIONS WORKSHOP

Jocelyn Bailey, Account Director at IdeaKraft

 

12:30pm – 1:30pm: PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER AMERICORPS WORKSHOP

This interactive workshop explores attendee strengths, skills, and experiences in order to look at future professional and personal endeavors. Creating a special identity for the promotion of an individual’s readiness for the next stage of life is the main goal of this session. For those who have served as AmeriCorps or AmeriCorps VISTA Members, how can the service term be explained and amplified? For those who may be contemplating a career change, this workshop is also for you.

 

2:00pm – 3:15pm: ENGAGING AND MANAGING VOLUNTEERS DURING THE PANDEMIC PANEL DISCUSSION & CLOSING REMARKS

2:00 pm -3:00 pm: Engaging and Managing Volunteers During the Pandemic Panel Discussion – Moderated by Alison Handy Twang, Associate Director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Binghamton University

A panel of volunteer managers will discuss strategies to engage volunteers during the pandemic. Topics will include how to keep existing volunteers involved, recruiting new volunteers, developing virtual/remote volunteer roles, using technology, and shifting programs to meet emerging needs and maintain public safety.

Panelists:

  • Theresa Bliss, Volunteer Coordinator at the Food Bank of the Southern Tier
  • Tylar Henson, Volunteer Recruitment Specialist at the American Red Cross
  • Kelly Campbell, Director of 4-H Youth Development at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County

3:00 pm -3:15 pm: Volunteer HQ Digital Platform Introduction, Maria Cataldo & Andi Stack, United Way of Broome County

 

If you are interested in attending this virtual conference, register here.

Have you been thinking of ways to help others or give back to the community? There are always opportunities to volunteer! Check out the Volunteer HQ to find a volunteer position by visiting the link here.

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