UWNEMN partners with Essentia Health on free Volunteer Portal

United Way of Northeastern Minnesota (UWNEMN) is proud to announce a partnership with Essentia Health to promote volunteering across the Iron Range

Thanks in part to a grant from Essentia Health, UWNEMN’s new online volunteer portal can be used not only for UWNEMN programs and partner agencies but also for all community members to post their volunteer opportunities.

UWNEMN Executive Director Erin Shay said she hopes the creation of this consolidated site with easy registration and simple reporting will result in a “one stop shop” for local residents interested in volunteering.

“UWNEMN and our partner agencies rely heavily on volunteers in order to affect change in our region,” Shay said. “We are so grateful that with Essentia Health’s support we can open this portal to any local group with volunteer needs because we understand the tremendous value of connecting with volunteers.”

This partnership was formed in response to social connectedness needs identified by Essentia Health-Virginia in its Community Health Needs Assessment, published last year.

“On a community level, we can respond to social isolation needs by making it easier for people to connect,” said Essentia Health Community Health Specialist Sierra Napoli-Thein.

According to Minnesota Compass, Minnesotans rank 5th in the nation for volunteerism with 41 percent of residents contributing unpaid time to organizations.

“Volunteering is a fantastic way for people to find other community members who are interested in the same things they are, with the benefit of giving back to the community,” said Napoli-Thein.

UWNEMN recently established its online volunteer portal in response to a growing number of requests from individuals, groups, and workplaces interested in volunteer opportunities.

“This partnership to get out into the community and connect with neighbors is coming at the perfect time,” she said.

Nonprofits, local organizations, and community members are invited to create a free profile - either as an organization to post opportunities or as an individual to sign up to volunteer at www.unitedwaynemn.org/volunteer. The site allows volunteers to track their volunteer hours and set alerts when their favorite local groups have new volunteer needs.

Volunteer opportunities must take place in UWNEMN’s service area (north St. Louis County, west Itasca County, Koochiching County, or Lake of the Woods County) in order to be included on the portal.

For more information, visit www.unitedwaynemn.org/volunteer.