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By Jeanene Harris and Erin Pittman | Photos courtesy of Volunteer Prince William
Established in 1981, Volunteer Prince William is volunteer central for the greater Prince William community.
They partner with various local nonprofits to promote volunteerism and have nearly 10,000 individuals registered on their website to browse available volunteer opportunities. Additionally, the organization casts a wide net in community support, providing disaster preparedness services, a court-ordered alternative community service program and its own charitable endeavors.
Volunteer Prince William’s Mission
“For the past 30 years, Volunteer Prince William has been building a stronger community by connecting volunteers with opportunities,” said Bridget Mullins, Executive Director of Volunteer Prince William.
VPW partners with community agencies to mobilize volunteers and resources to provide solutions for critical issues in our community. The organization believes volunteering begins with “the power of one.” Nonprofits are encouraged to advertise their volunteer needs on VPW’s website to easily reach individuals wishing to share their time and talents.
Individuals can create a free account and browse through the opportunities posted by their nonprofit partners. A quick search displays needs for community clean-up volunteers, food recovery drivers, adult literacy helpers, historic site assistants, youth tutors, dog park assistants, Girls on the Run coaches, board
members and more.
Volunteers 55 and up can take part in their RSVP — Retired and Senior Volunteer — program. RSVP encourages seniors to stay active through meaningful activities in the community. Volunteers in the program support work sites in Manassas, Manassas Park and Prince William by delivering Meals on
Wheels to homebound seniors, driving senior veterans to local doctor appointments, supporting the senior centers in Manassas and Woodbridge, assisting staff at the Novant UVA Health System medical centers in Manassas and Haymarket, and more.
“In addition to providing opportunities for volunteering in the community, the agency’s most recent big impact has been with the Community Feeding Task Force,” said Jan Hawkins, program director, Greater Prince William RSVP, Volunteer Prince William. “In addition to the Food Helpline, volunteers were
recruited and assigned to assist local food pantries and the central food warehouse operated by Prince William Food Rescue.”
VPW is also well known for its annual Untrim-A-Tree program where, each year at Christmastime, they provide toys for children in need and baskets to seniors who are homebound or residing in nursing homes. This year-long effort touched 3300 children and 375 seniors in the Prince William area in 2021.
Disaster services, including emergency preparedness training and outreach to vulnerable populations, particularly in the recovery phases of disaster, also fall within their mission, as does all court-related alternative community service work in Prince William. They serve as the coordinating agency for both adult
and juvenile cases.
Organizations currently partnering with VPW are seeing great success through their relationships.
“Volunteer Prince William provides us with a way to better offer our volunteer opportunities to the community,” said John McDonald, Historic Site Interpreter, Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre & Lucasville School, Prince William County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. “Their website
allows us to reach people who may not have visited our historic sites before, are new to the area, or are new to volunteering in general. Most of our Junior Preservationist volunteers (13-18) discover us this way.”
For nearly 100 years, the American Heart Association has been fighting heart disease and stroke and helping families and communities thrive. AHA has grown rapidly in size and influence — nationally and internationally — into an organization of more than 33 million volunteers and supporters dedicated to improving heart health and reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
“For over 10 years, I have used Volunteer Prince William’s online tools and Call-to-Action communication services to recruit and engage volunteers for many of our fundraising events,” said Joellen Brassfield, Volunteer Coordinator for the American Heart Association, Greater Washington Region. “We rely on our outstanding volunteers to help ensure the successful execution of these large-scale events that raise millions of dollars annually right here in the Greater Washington Region.”
The Alzheimer’s Association has collaborated with Volunteer Prince William for recruiting volunteers for their annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s Virginia Tri-Counties, which has been held at the Harris Pavilion in Manassas since 2010. This walk has had as many as 1,000 participants, so many volunteers are needed to
make the event a success.
“The number of people living with Alzheimer’s is projected to increase from 6 million today to nearly 13 million by 2050,” said Cindy Schelhorn, Senior Director, Communications and Marketing, Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter. “We will need to significantly increase our team of dedicated volunteers to help us meet the coming demands for our programs and services. We’ll also need more volunteers to become advocates to help influence Alzheimer’s and dementia policy at the federal and state level.”
Keep Prince William Beautiful is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established to educate and advocate for litter prevention, recycling and environmental stewardship for the residents and businesses in Prince William County. KPWB administers several year-round comprehensive programs encouraging community involvement to reduce litter across the county, assist in recycling efforts and conduct recycling education, and implement projects that beautify our neighborhoods and communities.
“We have a long-standing relationship with Volunteer Prince William and will periodically get direct volunteer referrals from them,” said Rico Fleshman, Executive Director, Keep Prince William Beautiful, Inc. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of our engagement activities and program fulfillment, so we are always
grateful for these referrals.”
Organizations interested in building their own success stories with Volunteer Prince William should visit their website at volunteerprincewilliam.org to get started.
Jeanene Harris is a contributing writer for Prince William Living, and Erin Pittman is Editor in Chief.