When Kelsey Currier isn’t busy serving in the community service program AmeriCorps, she volunteers at the Avila Marine Institute.
She has worked as a feeder there, taught children about the ocean and marine life during the institute’s summer program, and has accompanied classes on boat rides around Port San Luis.
The UCLA graduate is also the program coordinator for VolunteerSLO, a volunteer program based on the Cal Poly campus that hosts a Web site database of volunteer options in San Luis Obispo County.
VolunteerSLO matches interested volunteers with nonprofit agencies in more than 20 areas of service.
“VolunteerSLO made me more service-minded and opened my eyes to how much can be done,” Currier said. “I volunteer at the Avila Marine Institute because I saw their listing and it sparked my interest.”
Possible areas of service include animal welfare, education, human services and recreation.
Students interested in volunteer opportunities can also utilize the Web site’s events calendar, or search for a specific volunteer position of interest by using a keyword search.
Currier said that the Web site is user-friendly. Another advantage is that nonprofits list available opportunities and contact information for free.
Nonprofit organizations register their agency with VolunteerSLO and then post available opportunities.
Each volunteer position listed names the job and location. The listings also give information about who can get involved, the age group of volunteers needed, the dates of service, and a contact person.
Currier said that VolunteerSLO is the only county specific volunteer program in the area, and that the program is a way to broaden the college experience.
“VolunteerSLO lets participants get a feel for the community and make connections with nonprofits that could turn into jobs,” Currier said. “It’s a good way to see what’s out there. Nonprofits and other organizations are doing wonderful things but they need help.”
Currier said that there are so many opportunities for anyone interested in volunteering on the Web site that nonprofits compete for the available volunteers.
The program was started with grant funding more than three years ago, and VolunteerSLO has evolved from a strictly on-campus volunteer program to a completely revamped