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
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
“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
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.