Statewide volunteer connector platform launch coincides with National Volunteer Week
NOTE: OneStar board members from around the state have provided quotes regarding the launch of VolunteerTX and can be found in an addendum, following the press release.
AUSTIN — In celebration of National Volunteer Week set for April 18-24, OneStar is launching VolunteerTX, a new digital hub that connects individuals with volunteer opportunities throughout Texas.
“When we realized the primary barrier standing between many Texans and volunteering was a way to find meaningful volunteer opportunities, we knew we had to do something. VolunteerTX connects individuals with projects and organizations that inspire them to serve,” said Chris Bugbee, OneStar CEO. “ VolunteerTX is a major milestone. It is the first single source for volunteering across the state. We are honored to work with incredible local partners whose work helps make this achievement possible.”
National Volunteer Week recognizes the impact volunteer service has on communities, as well as the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges and provides the perfect opportunity for OneStar to launch VolunteerTX, Bugbee said.
“Texans truly are generous by nature. We have seen again and again — during floods, fires and hurricanes, or even in the challenges of daily life — that no force of nature is more powerful than Texans helping Texans,” said Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott. “ VolunteerTX is the perfect tool to help Texans make even more of a positive difference in their communities. The Governor and I thank OneStar for creating an even brighter future for the Lone Star State.”
In essence, VolunteerTX will be a one-stop shop connecting people who want to help with organizations and causes that need support. VolunteerTX is publicly available for anyone to search and currently features nearly 2,000 listings, which can be filtered by geography, issue area, commitment level, and more. The website is the most comprehensive database of volunteer opportunities in Texas and pulls in volunteer opportunities from local volunteer connector organizations, including:
- Volunteer Houston
- Volunteer South Texas at the United Way of South Texas
- The United Way of San Antonio & Bexar County Volunteer Center
- The Volunteer Center of Lubbock
- Volunteer El Paso at the United Way of El Paso
- The Volunteer Center, a program of the Round Rock Area Serving Center
VolunteerTX was developed in partnership with Points of Light using the technology behind the Points of Light Engage volunteer aggregator in its first statewide application.
“As a lifelong Texan, I know the giving spirit of Texans – we’re here to help, to support, to build hope and community,” said Neil Bush, board chair, Points of Light. “My dad instilled a commitment to service in our family from a very early age, and as the board chair of Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, I have seen firsthand the power of people to create change. I know there are thousands of points of light across Texas, citizens ready to step in and give their time, talent and treasure to help others. VolunteerTX makes it easy to take the willingness to serve and find opportunities to do so across this great state.”
VolunteerTX was created after OneStar surveyed Texas nonprofit organizations in late 2020 with a goal of better understanding how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting their work and missions (Texas Nonprofit Leaders’ COVID-19 Impact Report, December 2020). The survey showed that:
- 42% of respondents faced increased demand for services from their clients and communities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 76% of respondents endured moderate to severe reductions in volunteer engagement for delivering their programs and services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
VolunteerTX will help create pathways for individuals to engage in their communities and, likewise, accelerate the impact of organizations that rely on volunteers. Individuals interested in volunteering said the top three barriers to volunteering were all related to not knowing how to find meaningful service opportunities (Points of Light Civic Engagement Topline Report, September 2020), with the following findings:
- 44% of respondents were unsure how to get involved or where to find opportunities
- 44% of respondents could not find opportunities near them
- 43% of respondents were not sure what they could do that would be helpful
As COVID-19 vaccines are distributed and all forms of volunteering become less risky, VolunteerTX provides a convenient way to find both remote and in-person opportunities for Texans to serve their communities. Visit volunteertx.org to find local volunteer opportunities.
OneStar strengthens Texas communities by creating pathways for individuals and organizations to engage, connect and accelerate their impact. We advance service and volunteering as effective solutions to our state’s toughest social challenges. We are recognized as a statewide voice for the Texas nonprofit sector and a respected partner to foundations, state agencies and the business community. Born from state government in 1974, we carry out our mission with direction and guidance from the Office of the Texas Governor. Learn more at onestarfoundation.org.
OneStar Board Member Quotes
Michelle Brewer, Disaster Recovery Director, Silsbee
“Being from a small county impacted by a big disaster, we understand how critical volunteerism is in underserved communities. We appreciate programming and partnerships like VolunteerTX that provide a platform to drive volunteers to more rural areas like ours, allowing us to share our mission and message on a broader scale. Volunteerism is vital in all communities. It bridges gaps, builds faith and brings hope.”
Bonnie Brown, Rio Grande Valley (Raymondville)
“The name of our great State of Texas originated from an East Texas Native American word — Tejas, meaning ‘friend’ or ‘ally.’ It’s exciting to know that we may embody that meaning by helping each other. With VolunteerTX launching, Texans have even better opportunities to be friends and allies seeking opportunities to help neighbors. By the droves, Texans readily volunteer after natural disasters. Now there’s a way to volunteer year round.”
George Green, New Braunfels
“Volunteering is my way of giving back to the sum total of my education, experience and love for my community, state and nation. VolunteerTX is the perfect conduit to make a positive difference.”
Mary Grace Landrum, Houston
“Friends and neighbors often say, ‘I want to do some meaningful work, but I don’t know where to go.’ VolunteerTX gives people an easy way to match their skills and interest with those in need.”
Brad Namdar, Dallas
“VolunteerTX is an awesome and tremendous platform launched with OneStar. VolunteerTX will give countless opportunities for our great citizens in Dallas County to volunteer, be involved and help with a variety of noble nonprofit and social initiatives.”
Corey Tabor, Austin
“The people of Central Texas are known for their big hearts and willingness to give back. VolunteerTX gives them an easy way to take action and meet community needs.”
Chuck Wright, Frisco
“There is nothing as uniting to Texans as working together to solve problems. No better example of this than as seen during Hurricane Harvey where the Gator Nation and their shallow draft fishing boats selflessly rushed to the aid of fellow citizens. VolunteerTX is a way to do that on a regular basis.”