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Positively the Heartland: Making a difference through virtual volunteering

Posted at 8:12 AM, Feb 09, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Volunteering virtually, yet making a real difference.

Throughout the last few years, organizations have created new opportunities or modified existing ones to better allow volunteers to create a desired impact from the safety and comfort of home.

Two of those organizations are Lift Up Sarpy County and Nebraska Appleseed, both connected to SHARE Omaha, which serves 650 nonprofits.

"Even in the midst of the crisis that we're in, there's still a spirit to give back," said SHARE Omaha Executive Director Marjorie Maas.

She said the key is capturing that spirit, which Tanya Gifford, the executive director of Lift Up Sarpy County, spoke to.

"It has probably been even more work now for our volunteers because we really do have to be creative. There's a lot of virtual opportunities," Gifford said. "A lot of drop and go. I kind of feel like a porch bandit in a positive nature because there's a lot of times that we'll drop off paperwork or groceries or pantry items on a porch, and you know, you see somebody waving from the front door."

Just like Lift Up Sarpy County, Nebraska Appleseed relies on volunteers.

"We take a systematic approach to complex issues such as child welfare, immigration policy, affordable healthcare and economic justice," said Lindsay Limbach. "And we take that work wherever it's needed most."

Andrew Farias is also with the organization.

"It's more important than ever to really get engaged with volunteer opportunities to uplift communities through things like phone calls, trainings, book clubs. These are all really essential to the work that we do with Nebraska Appleseed as we work toward justice for all Nebraskans."

Maas explained why there's value in virtual volunteerism.

"Volunteering from home is nothing to be shirked. It's nothing to say that it's less-than. You're still fulfilling a need for a non-profit," she said.

To volunteer virtually, or in-person—as both organizations have those opportunities, as well—visit their websites:

For a list of dozens of virtual volunteer opportunities through SHARE Omaha, visit https://shareomaha.org/search/volunteer-opportunities, and click on 'Location' (on the left side of the page), then click 'Work From Anywhere.'

https://www.liftupsarpycounty.org/

https://neappleseed.org/

Coming later this month, how two other organizations—RISE and Open Door Mission—are also relying on virtual volunteers.

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