Volunteer Carmel aims to match residents, service opportunities

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Carmel City Council President Jeff Worrell credits volunteer work with launching his political career. He began serving the community through CarmelFest approximately 25 years ago, and that experience led to other opportunities to volunteer and eventually a desire give back to Carmel as an elected official.

Now, he’s hoping to make it easier for fellow Carmel residents to make similar connections through Volunteer Carmel, a new website that allows users to sign up to serve at a variety of events throughout the city. It creates a database for the city to track and coordinate volunteers and their interests and skills.

“There is a tremendous number of people who view contributing to their community as a really important part of their life, and if we don’t have a way to get them engaged not only are they disappointed but we’ve lost a great opportunity for great people to help make the community a better place,” Worrell said.

The Volunteer Carmel page lists monthly, seasonal and year-round opportunities to serve. It includes city-run events, such as Meet Me on Main and Bike Carmel, and those organized by other entities, such as the Carmel Marathon and CarmelFest. It also provides information on how to volunteer with local nonprofits. Users can create a profile and indicate when they are available to volunteer and which tasks most interest them.

The city attempted to launch Volunteer Carmel in 2018, but the local company selected to develop the software went out of business. This time around, the city paid $2,600 to have Colorado-based CERVIS build and manage the software.

“We ended up having to start over, so those things happen, but we were trying to give a local software company a shot,” Worrell said. “Now we are ready to go again with a vendor that’s been doing this for a long time.”

Worrell said he has encountered many Carmel residents who have been interested in learning more about local volunteer opportunities, but he didn’t have a single place to send them for an overview of the many options before Volunteer Carmel launched. He’s hoping it will fill a need and better engage residents at the same time.

“It has been a great way for me to get engaged in my community, and that’s why I want to make it easy for others to do the same,” Worrell said.

Learn more and sign up for Volunteer Carmel at carmel.in.gov/department-services/community-relations-and-economic-development/carmel-can.

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