Photo credit: Volunteer Photographer Sara Ford
Credit: Sara Ford / Courtesy

The City of San Luis Obispo announced in a city news release the launch of a new online volunteer portal, Engage SLO, to help connect San Luis Obispo residents with volunteer opportunities to engage with their community in meaningful ways. 

Volunteers who are 18 years or older can register for the site and sign up individually or as a group to help in a variety of ways from volunteering at community events to working to maintain city trails. Those under 18 can also participate when they sign up with a parent and fill out a waiver.

The project began in March and came out of the need for a centralized channel for people to get involved with their community, San Luis Obispo Volunteer Coordinator Kiersten Anderson said. 

With this volunteer portal, the city hopes to give residents “a way to support and engage with the community,” Anderson said.

Beyond signing up to volunteer, people can also manage their schedules, track volunteer hours and view their impact value as a dollar amount through the portal. 

Past experiences and training can qualify people for even more volunteer opportunities as well.

Anderson said they are also working on opportunities for volunteers with more qualifications to work alongside the San Luis Obispo Fire Department and San Luis Obispo Police Department.

There are opportunities for volunteers to get involved every week and the site will be updated monthly with new opportunities, Anderson said. 

As a Cal Poly alumnus, Anderson said she encourages Cal Poly students to “learn more about how to plug into the community” and stresses the importance of “inspiring service wherever they end up.”

Editors Note: This article was updated on Oct. 3 to include that those under 18 are still able to participate in the program when they sign up with a parent and to clarify that the City of San Luis Obispo does not guarantee certain positions at the police and fire departments.