The Oklahoma Eagle Newswire
After receiving multiple requests to match volunteers with projects over the last few years, the City of Tulsa has launched Serve Tulsans, a central point where organizations may register online to volunteer where there is a need.
The website, www.servetulsans.org, is designed to provide a clearinghouse for volunteers to search for a multitude of opportunities; they can work to enhance neighborhoods or reduce blight. “There have been many instances where a neighborhood or group of residents needed help cleaning up an area but they did not have enough people to do the work,” said Working in Neighborhoods (WIN) liaison Joel Hensley. Through Serve Tulsans, neighborhoods may now turn to the City’s WIN Department to request volunteers.
The website was developed for Tulsa as part of a grant from Cities of Service. Organizations with projects may register to be matched with volunteers, and vis-à-vis neighborhoods or individual residents may register through the website to find volunteers and projects.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” said WIN Director Dwain Midget. “It’s a central point that works both ways – for the volunteers who want to work on City of Tulsa projects or help out a neighbor, and for those who have needs.”
Mayor G.T. Bynum said, “This is the first time the City of Tulsa has offered a simple, streamlined process for registering volunteers and matching them to projects. It is another tool we can use to build pride in our neighborhoods, reduce blight through cleanups and housing improvements, and enhance the area with beautification projects. These volunteers can help residents avoid fines and penalties associated with nuisance abatement while serving the community.”
Registered volunteers may log their hours and have the City of Tulsa acknowledge their work. They can search for opportunities based on their interests. Likewise, organizations may post projects directly to the site with the goal of directly connecting with volunteers. The website provides each organization with a summary page that can link to their own website.
The website, developed byCloudRed of New York for Cities of Service, is free for Tulsans. It will spotlight organizations and opportunities on the front page.
Cities of Service provides support for the volunteer portal as part of Serve Tulsans, a larger partnership with the City. Serve Tulsans encompasses three initiatives: the Serve Tulsans volunteer portal, Love Your Block mini-grants, and a home weather and efficiency resilience program. The Home Resilience program will be operated in tandem with the City’s existing home rehabilitation program for low-income residents based on existing need and applications already received.