The Emmet County Volunteer Network, at least tentatively, appears to be the name of a countywide clearinghouse that will help link volunteers with organizations needing help.
The organization functions under the auspices of the Emmet County RSVP which wrote an Emmet County Community Foundation grant for the project, the purpose of which is to link volunteers under 55 with organizations needing their assistance. The Emmet County RSVP already serves as a clearinghouse for volunteers 55 and over.
Meeting Monday morning at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville, which sponsors RSVP, was the Vision, Mission, Policies and Procedures Committee with the Public Relations, Recruitment, Community Needs and Technology Committee meeting Monday afternoon.
Emmet County Volunteer Network committee members met Monday at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville. Members of the Public Relations, Recruitment, Community Needs and Technology Committee meeting above were Sonja Fagre, Susan Pytleski, Mardella Brobst, Mary Steele, Linda Anderson, Julie Clark and Jenna Pollock.
EDN photo by Michael Tidemann
Jenna Pollock, Emmet County conservationist who attended both meetings, told the afternoon session that the morning group had come up with the name Emmet County Volunteer Network, with an emphasis on Emmet County.
Sonja Fagre suggested that some clarification might be in order to add Iowa to the name for Web searchers.
Pollock also noted the vision statement: "The Emmet County Volunteer Network connects volunteers with service opportunities."
Mary Steele, RSVP director, said background checks are usually the first issue that arises with partnering agencies. Steele said the Network could obtain volunteer releases but that agencies availing themselves of volunteer services might have differing requirements. For that reason, each partner agency would have to decide what it wanted for background checks, Steele said.
Steele also said she envisioned that eventually much of the volunteer matching would be done online.
Another topic that came up was how to handle donations to the Network. Steele said anyone who wanted to donate could do so through the Iowa Lakes Community College Foundation with donations earmarked for the Emmet County Volunteer Network.
Getting down to the purpose of the afternoon session, Steele said one of the purposes of the Public Relations, Recruitment, Community Needs and Technology Committee was to let people know about the Network, getting volunteers to sign up and giving agencies needing volunteers a way to find them.
The group discussed a variety of county media outlets available, including newspapers, radio, the cable rollup, Chamber website and church bulletins. The group also discussed a number of options for who might be the best person to build a website. Steele said the Website would likely be a big part of the Network's publicity and that it could be linked to social media.
One of the questions that arose was whether there would be a minimum age for volunteers.
Steele said as long as youth were supervised by an adult, that age could likely be determined by the supervisor. The Network would be a good option for students pursuing Purple Cord hours.