The Community Fund's Volunteer Hub is a complimentary service to all Darien residents; ages 14 and up, who are interested in finding the right volunteer position. Individuals can call or email our Volunteer Hub Hosts and they will personally guide participants to the organizations which best matches their skill set and areas of interest.
In addition, our Hub hosts will follow up with individuals to make sure all is well. Our Hub hosts are volunteers, too - 'Volunteers For Volunteering'.
The benefits of volunteering include a boost to one's self-confidence, self-esteem and life satisfaction. Volunteers are doing good for others which provides a sense of accomplishment, pride, and identity. Volunteering allows people to connect with their community and to make it a better place. Dedicating oneself to volunteering helps one make new friends, expand one's network, learn new skills, and boost social interactions. Volunteering provides a selfless way to support community building.
What kind of volunteer work will participants be doing?
It all depends on what interests the volunteers and what the organizations have available. For example, if organizing special events is appealing, our hosts will match that volunteer with the appropriate agency. If working with animals is of interest, our hosts will help volunteers to find the appropriate organization. We have a roster of more than 100 local nonprofit organizations who need help - and that list is growing.
How do nonprofit agencies benefit from volunteers?
Nonprofit organizations benefit from volunteers in that they do the work for free. The value of a volunteer hour in Connecticut for 2021 was $33.35. Last year TCF was fortunate to have volunteers donate 10,333 hours which is the equivalent of 5 full-time employees.
How do volunteers get started?
The Volunteer Hub's priority is to provide exceptional customer service. The Volunteer Hub is an extension of TCF's values: impact, excellence, partnership, professionalism and integrity. Potential volunteers call The Volunteer Hub at The Community Fund of Darien at 203.655.8775 or complete a confidential Volunteer Interest form online. One of our Volunteer Hub Hosts will respond within 24 hours, if they aren't on the line straight away. There's a personal one-on-one conversation to better understand the individual's interests, which which may take place in person or via telephone. From there, we will make an introduction to the Volunteer Manager at the organization which suits the applicant best. The volunteer and organization take it from there and work together. Our hosts follow up within one week and again in one month to see how TCF placements are doing. We make the personal introduction and follow up to be sure that volunteer and agency relationships work for all parties!
Who are the Volunteer Hub Hosts?
Jessica Brokaw Cahill is the daughter of Ned Brokaw, who founded Volunteer Square. Jessica is passionate about matching highly talented Darien residents with meaningful volunteer experiences. She is a former Massachusetts Assistant District Attorney and grew up in Darien. Jessica is a mother of three children.
Celeste Marsh is a Darien resident and was formerly employed by ABC, CNN, and Turner Broadcasting System. She served on the Person-to-Person board, was a volunteer receptionist and started their Youth Volunteer Program more than 15 years ago. Celeste has been a volunteer in multiple local nonprofits and is the mother of three sons.