HOUSTON (August 25, 2020) – Volunteer Houston, a program of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, has teamed up with the City of Houston and Harris County to encourage people to register as a volunteer, sign up to volunteer in the community and then report their volunteer hours. The Greater Houston area is known for its spirit of volunteerism. Many volunteers do not realize that, by formally registering and reporting their hours, they enable our community to become eligible for increased federal funding to meet critical needs.
The Register Volunteer Report (RVR) public awareness campaign was created for any organizations that rely on the skills and time offered by all types of volunteers. It is an annual community-wide campaign that aligns with the official start of hurricane season in June
Local organizations are encouraged to share RVR messaging with their own volunteers and through their social media channels and websites. Volunteers are encouraged to officially register with the organizations for which they volunteer their time and skills. Volunteers can also browse thousands of volunteer needs at volunteerhouston.org and many more at houstonservice.org. By having a database of registered volunteers, Volunteer Houston (who operates the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Volunteer Reception Center, or VRC) can quickly reach out during times of disaster to mobilize volunteers throughout the community more effectively and efficiently based on skills, interest and location.
Reporting hours is important because it allows organizations to quantify the impact of their volunteers and even assign a dollar value to those service hours. This information is required by a number of funders including FEMA. Corporations may be able to write off employee volunteer hours as a charitable contribution, and some companies even match volunteer hours with cash donations to the nonprofit. Many students are required to volunteer and show documentation of their hours. Nonprofit and government organizations can use volunteer hours as a required match to obtain government funding that will help our community recover and rebuild after a disaster strikes.
Houston ranks #23 in volunteerism nationwide, according to the Corporation for National Service. Studies have shown that volunteering offers an array of health and social benefits, such as stress reduction, improved mood, acquisition of marketable skills, and socialization.
ABOUT VOLUNTEER HOUSTON AND INTERFAITH MINISTRIES FOR GREATER HOUSTON
Volunteer Houston (VH) is a program of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston (Interfaith Ministries). Since its inception in 1974, Volunteer Houston has been the city’s leading volunteer referral service connecting individuals, groups and companies with nonprofit agencies to transform our community for good through volunteerism. Volunteer Houston, the Houston Points of Light affiliate, placed individuals in more than 15,000 volunteer opportunities in 2019 for over 300 nonprofit agencies filling 72% of the needs posted in the VH portal. For more information, visit www.volunteerhouston.org.
A United Way agency, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston (Interfaith Ministries) brings people of diverse faith traditions together for dialogue, collaboration and service, as a demonstration of our shared beliefs. Interfaith Ministries provides four main services: Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston and Galveston County delivers more than two million meals each year to homebound seniors and people with disabilities across five counties; Refugee Services, in conjunction with the U.S. State Department, resettles hundreds of refugees in Houston; Interfaith Relations and Community Partnerships provides community services fostering understanding, respect and engagement among Houstonians of all faiths; and Volunteer Houston connects volunteers in transformative projects with area nonprofits. For more information, visit https://www.imgh.org/.
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RVR Video Public Service Announcement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOCh9V0kZxw&feature=youtu.be
RVR Audio Public Service Announcements:
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner – https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1JKcQ43XTC-IRDT7KXzzlrzrlPflnXcHe