BGSUserves makes it easy for community organizations, students to create and find volunteer opportunities
More than 140 community organizations are using the new platform that launched in the fall, and students have logged 29,000 service hours
Bowling Green State University senior Kyrsten Stuckey is attuned to being busy.
Aside from her coursework, she serves in leadership roles in numerous organizations at the University, is a student ambassador in the College of Education and Human Development and is a resident success mentor in the Office of Residence Life.
The president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and President's Leadership Academy scholar is also tapped to give the keynote address at this year's Symposium on Diversity as part of the University's Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and Learning.
Despite her packed schedule, Stuckey, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Education degree, prioritizes giving back. To her, the small time commitment is worth the impact it can have on other people’s lives.
“That one or two hours out of my day isn’t a big deal, but to the people I’m helping, it can mean the world,” she said. “You also never know when you might need help yourself, so it feels good to be able to give back while I’m able.”
Stuckey, who previously found volunteer opportunities by searching several different websites, now has a more streamlined option through the University’s new platform BGSUserves.
BGSUserves connects local and regional organizations with more than 15,000 BGSU students to fill volunteer needs. Organizations can create events, communicate with volunteers and manage participation all on one platform.
“It’s kind of like Google but for community service,” Stuckey said of the ease of finding volunteer opportunities.
Not only is BGSUserves a tool for students, but it’s also a tool for the region, as it connects nonprofits with a network of volunteers internal and external to BGSU.
- Kendra Lutes, assistant director of the Marvin Center for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement
The C. Raymond Marvin Center for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement launched BGSUserves in the fall. Students have already logged 29,000 service hours, and more than 140 community organizations are using the platform.
Kendra Lutes, assistant director of the Marvin Center for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, expects the growth to continue as awareness of BGSUserves increases.
“We’re fortunate to have major volunteer networks such as Thompson Family Scholars, Greek organizations and athletics using the platform already, and we know this is only a fraction of the volunteer work being done by BGSU students,” Lutes said. “Not only is BGSUserves a tool for students, but it’s also a tool for the region, as it connects nonprofits with a network of volunteers internal and external to BGSU.”
Stuckey uses BGSUserves to not only search for volunteer opportunities, but create and manage them for several of the organizations with which she is involved.
Before the holidays, she organized a toy drive for the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Stuckey said BGSUserves offered her an easy way to track donations and participation.
“That was the first major event that I used BGSUserves for, and it really allowed me to see the impact of managing all aspects in one platform,” she said. "We were able to collect more than 500 toys for foster children in Wood County."
The Cocoon, a domestic and sexual violence advocacy agency and shelter in Bowling Green, is among the many community organizations using BGSUserves.
Justina Fuqua-Black, education and outreach coordinator, said The Cocoon relies heavily on volunteers, many of whom are students at the University, to assist with its 24-hour hotline and community outreach events throughout the year.
Fuqua-Black said she used BGSUserves to recruit volunteers for a community fundraising event, and it worked really well.
She’s looking forward to expanding her use of the platform in the coming months to build a network of after-hour advocates.
“Even with just our limited use, it’s easy to see how beneficial it’s going to continue to be for our organization,” Fuqua-Black said.
Updated: 01/10/2023 09:58AM