Written by: Amanda Keuler on April 26, 2013 @ 1:06 pm
In a post published earlier this week, we touched on a few resources that match people to fulfilling volunteer opportunities. Last weekend, I turned to Community Bucket seeking that kind of opportunity. They helped me find it at PAWS Atlanta on a wonderful Sunday afternoon with a great group of new people.
What? You’ve never heard of Community Bucket? Well, sit on down folks. They’re about to rock your world.
Community Bucket is all about “service made social.” The organization popped into the volunteering scene in 2012 and is creating a ripple effect among young professionals, like myself, that want to feel more connected to their community through service and have fun in the process.
Why young professionals?
Well for one, the founders – Jesse Grossman and Mike Guardalabene – are young professionals and have seen first hand how their demographic gets lost in the shuffle when it comes to volunteer recruitment. In fact, this demographic has the lowest volunteer rate of any other. According to Community Bucket, only 150 out every 1,000 volunteers can be described as young professionals. Of this group of 150, only 7.5 volunteers return after their first volunteer opportunity.
What’s up with that?
That’s what Jesse and Mike wanted to figure out. After graduating from Emory University in 2010, Mike and Jesse both went their separate ways to start their careers. After moving to a new place for work, Mike was giving volunteering a go to meet some new people in his community. He quickly realized that his age bracket was sorely underrepresented and he felt disconnected from the other volunteers. That’s when he turned to his college pal and marketing pro, Jesse, to try and re-brand volunteering to their peers.
The rest, as they say, is history. Community Bucket works to match young people with nonprofit organizations that have a real need for their professional skills. They also organize hands-on projects and fundraising opportunities for interested volunteers. After every volunteer activity everybody joins the network of volunteers before them and signs the community bucket (yes, there is a real, physical bucket involved). Then the group continues the event at a local joint to socialize over food and drinks. Hence the slogan “service made social.”
In March, the organization recorded 800 hours of service in the Atlanta area with 300 volunteers and over 10 nonprofit and community partners.
I joined them a week ago and added to that growing number. We met Sunday morning at PAWS Atlanta in Decatur and worked a couple hours organizing newspapers for the crates, sealing new flooring, sorting portable crates, clearing the walking trail, cleaning windows and last but not least showering the cats and dogs with love.
After volunteering, we all headed to a nearby pizza place for lunch and got to know each other better. Some had just moved into town and were looking for a way to meet people. Others came for a fun afternoon adventure to expand their social circles.
It was a fun and light afternoon surrounded by the glow of good deeds. If you are young and living near Atlanta, I highly suggest you check out Community Bucket. Not only will you have the chance to network with skilled peers you also have the chance to create tangible, positive impact in your community. National Volunteer Week is almost over but they have events all year, so jump on board! They are always updating their list of upcoming events so you’ll be sure to find something that fits you.
Hope to see you there!
If your nonprofit wants to tap into a new well of energized volunteers ready to put their skills to use for a good cause, sign up to be part of Community Bucket’s Partner Program.