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Community Wish List connects charities with volunteers

4:35 PM, Dec 5, 2012   |    comments
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Social media offers a way to keep in touch with old friends and make new ones. It can also be a great resource.

A website an East Tennessee woman created connects charities with volunteers.

"We are always in need of volunteers," Danielle Benson with the YWCA said.

The Downtown YWCA has a new tool to find people who want to volunteer. It's a website called Community Wish List.

The Y needed a speaker to discuss safety issues and a volunteer wanted to share her expertise.

"She went on to the website and was looking for how as a speaker who can I talk to. She was able to see that we had several programs that related to what she was passionate about and made that direct connection," Benson said.

Maeve Smith is a longtime volunteer herself who started the Community Wish List in March. So far 21 non-profits post their wish lists for free.

"I wanted to do something to help local non-profits get the word out about their good works and the good things that they're doing," Maeve Smith said.

Non-profits on the site wish for everything from volunteer gardeners to shelf stockers to donated musical instruments and full body bee suits.

"You can find anything from tutoring to being a greeter at special events to answering phones, fundraising, grant writing. And we've gotten a really good response." Smith said.

The needs are broad enough for volunteers to find a good fit for donations of items, or skills, or just time.

"I just want the community to really get involved and to learn about our local organizations and to learn about their needs and just jump in and help," she said.

Danielle Benson said, "The success has been so appreciated with volunteers and donations from the website."

The Community Wish List website has been a great new resource for the YWCA.

Maeve Smith hopes more East Tennesseans will use the free resource to volunteer.

"When they're looking for a volunteer opportunity know to come to Community Wish List," she said.

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