NoCoVolunteers.org to host Make a Difference Day volunteer opportunities

United Way of Larimer County will celebrate its 22nd annual Make a Difference Day on Saturday, October 24. The public is invited to participate in this community-wide day of service, which is recognized each year during the fourth week of October. The 2020 festivities will kick off with a weeklong celebration of volunteerism in Larimer County beginning October 19.

Individuals interested in participating in Make a Difference Day can do so by making a free account on NoCoVolunteers.org, United Way of Larimer County’s online volunteer resource center. The site contains hundreds of volunteer opportunities, both virtual and in-person, from more than 50 local nonprofit agencies. Users can customize their profiles to select their areas of interest and engage with the causes that are most important to them. To date, there are over 2,000 active volunteers at NoCoVolunteers.org, which operates year-round.

“The NoCoVolunteers.org platform has been vital to mobilizing community members to support our nonprofits in need throughout the pandemic,” said Claire Bouchard, Vice President of Community Impact & Engagement. “When it is safe for our community members to provide volunteer support in response to the Cameron Peak Fires, we will work with County officials to post opportunities to NoCoVolunteers.org, as well. In the meantime, Make a Difference Day is a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to come together and strengthen our community.”

The value of volunteerism is especially clear in light of the challenges facing our community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Cameron Peak Fire. Beyond the benefits for local organizations, research shows volunteering has a positive effect on the mental and physical health of individuals. A CDC survey conducted in late June found that more than 40 percent of respondents reported experiencing mental or behavioral health challenges related to the pandemic, such as anxiety, depression, or substance misuse. However, a recent Harvard University study found that volunteering was linked to favorable health and well-being outcomes, including higher levels of physical activity and an increased sense of optimism and purpose in life.

“Volunteers are the engine of service in any community, and the United Way of Larimer County is the vehicle providing those opportunities to serve,” said Dawn Paepke, Sr. Specialist, Community Health & Engagement at Kaiser Permanente. “Kaiser Permanente is proud to partner with United Ways all along the Front Range to help us live our mission and increase the health and wellness of not only our members but the communities we serve, as well.”

Join United Way and thousands of other volunteers working to strengthen our community on Make a Difference Day. Visit NoCoVolunteers.org to view a regularly updated list of volunteer opportunities and sign up to participate today.