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Park Rapids Volunteer Network up and running

The Park Rapids Volunteer Network is live.

The website aims to connect volunteers with area organizations that need their help.

A small task force from ACTION Park Rapids created the customized webpage (https://volunteerparkrapids.galaxydigital.com) with the help of Galaxy Digital, a website designer in North Carolina.

Several organizations have already begun to post their events and needs.

Carolynne White, a task force member, is recruiting more organizations and volunteers to "sign up and get connected."

Informal training sessions will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, 16 and 23 in the lower conference room at CHI St. Joseph's Health. White and other task force members will be there to assist with set-up, answer questions, etc.

Each volunteer creates a personalized profile page, identifying three interests and three causes. Volunteers can list their skills. They can search and respond to volunteer opportunities in Hubbard County. By becoming a "fan" of a favorite organization, they can receive notifications and reminders of upcoming events.

The Park Rapids Volunteer Network is open to all area organizations for an annual fee of $30.

Each organization should have a site manager to post volunteer opportunities, White explained. Organizations describe their cause or special event, including shifts, age requirements, registration deadlines, skills or number of volunteers needed. The website allows organizations to message volunteers and export a list of responses. It can be linked to the organization's official website/social media accounts.

The website also features a calendar.

"So the more organizations we get to be part of the Park Rapids Volunteer Network means we'll have as near to a community calendar as we can get," White said.

It also keeps track of volunteer hours, which can be useful for organizations when they are writing grants. Volunteers can log their community service hours or print a nice resumé, White said.

The task force procured money from the Park Rapids Community Fund and a Blandin Foundation grant to launch the Park Rapids Volunteer Network. The goal was to have a nominal membership fee to cover ongoing, yearly costs yet remain affordable for nonprofits.

The new logo was designed by Park Rapids Area High School student Olivia Fischer. It was selected by art teacher Mike Hartung from 20 designs.

For further information, email parkrapidsareavolunteernetwork@gmail.com or call 732-9819.

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