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Friday, January 9, 2015

VALLEY NEWS ARTICLE ON JUSTSERVE

This came out today in our local paper.    Its an awesome article by Laura Rathbun.



 The Murrieta Methodist Church’s food bank was aided by JustServe.org last

Thanksgiving. The website posted a request for food donations to feed the needy and over 100

Thanksgiving food bags were donated to the church’s food bank in response to the post.  Food

bank worker Ann Hartwig (left) and Reverend Stephanie Toon Glassman are shown with the

food bags.  Courtesy photo.

JustServe.org successfully matches

local organizations with volunteers




Local organizations looking for volunteers can make the task easier with the website

JustServe.org that was launched last July by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The City of Murrieta, Murrieta Valley Unified School District, Murrieta Chamber of

Commerce, Southwest Healthcare, Kiwanis club and Rotary club are just some of the

organizations using the website to find volunteers, according to Dion Rasmussen, director of

public affairs for LDS’ Murrieta stake.

Rasmussen said the website’s concept was developed by an LDS member who took the

idea to church headquarters in Salt Lake City.  Internet developers created the website for testing

in Northern California.  It was a success so the test was expanded to Southern California, where

it’s also doing well.

The ultimate goal is to have the website available to all communities, volunteer

organizations, city management, churches and schools across the nation, Rasmussen said.  He

added that it’s expanding quickly and successfully to new areas.

“We are very pleased with the results,” he said.  “We expect this to continue to build, and

be a support for the communities, schools and organizations in our area.”

There isn’t a cost to use the site.  “You just have to be a registered volunteer, and then be

connected with an administrator in your local area that can help you put a volunteer needing

project on the site,” Rasmussen explained.

He emphasized that though the website was developed by LDS, it’s not a tool for

proselyting.  “It is a tool for any and all organizations who are looking for volunteers to help

them in any project that needs volunteerism,” he said.  “There are limitations however, some

include; no proselyting, no fundraising or for profit, no quotas, no handing of money and no

political involvement.”

 Local organizations using the website are enthused by it.  “So far, we have had several

very good successes and it is only going to take some time to build awareness and support as

people learn about the site, it’s capabilities, and then for the base of volunteers to continue to

grow,” Rasmussen said.  “Our community is very excited about the possibilities.”

  He gave some examples of how the website has helped the community.  He said last

September, the City of Murrieta posted a need for volunteers to help with its 9-11

commemoration.

“Volunteer needs were posted for the project and the community came together to set up,

and take down the event.  It went fantastic,” he said.  “In addition, a project was posted to help

support the Murrieta Methodist Church’s local food bank for Thanksgiving turkeys.  There were

close to 100 families helped and supported through that critical holiday period by a JustServe

project.”

People seeking to volunteer can use the website to be notified about opportunities they’d

be interested in.  “Once a person registers, they can select how they choose to be notified.  You

can select projects based on the proximity to where you live,” Rasmussen said.  “For example,

you can be made aware of, or search for projects within a 10-mile radius of your home, or

expand that to a larger area.”

  Murrieta resident Marcia Sattley recently used the website to find volunteers to help her

make sock monkeys for children who are ill and in the court system.  She’s been making the

comforting and cute monkeys for the past four years mostly by herself and was having trouble

keeping up with the need for them.

 “I had not heard about JustServe,” Sattley said.  “I have a friend who often helped me

make monkeys and she suggested putting the project on JustServe as a way to get the project out

there and maybe find some more monkey makers.  I first checked it out in the middle of October,

and I saw how many community projects were on there.  I thought, ‘Wow!  This is a great site’

and I added the monkey project.”

In December, Sattley was contacted by two 13-year-old girls from Temecula who found

her monkey project on JustServe and wanted to become monkey makers.  They needed

community service hours for school and like to sew.

“What a match!” Sattley said.  “They came by, I showed them what to do, and the next

day, their mom sent a picture of smiling girls, holding finished monkeys.”

Sattley thinks the website is wonderful.  “JustServe is a great way to communicate with a

shout out, ‘Hey!  Can you help us over here?’” she said.

For more information, visit the website at JustServe.org.

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