Vision, Mission and Purpose
Vision: To promote volunteerism as an essential community resource.
Mission: To recruit potential volunteers for public and non-profit organizations in Green Valley/Sahuarita and surrounding communities, and provide professional development for volunteer managers.
The Clearinghouse is an all-volunteer project of Pima Council on Aging (PCOA) under the direction of the Manager of Community Relations. It has an advisory board composed of community members and volunteer coordinators and managers who guide the work of the volunteers.
As early as the 1990’s, Green Valley residents and organizations proposed the creation of a volunteer center. For example, in 1991, Green Valley News and Sun editor Kathleen Engle argued for it.
The Green Valley Coordinating Council took steps in late 1990’s and early 2000’s to identify the agencies and their volunteer managers as well as their volunteer needs.
Then, in the mid-2000’s, the Coordinating Council created a committee with the explicit goal of promoting volunteerism. The Committee began meeting on a regular schedule, visited the agencies and began discussions with volunteer managers. It hosted a working luncheon for the volunteer managers at which they recommended steps that should be taken for volunteerism. Among them were kiosks in the libraries that promoted volunteering, an annual volunteer fair or showcase, and greater collaboration among the agencies.
The Coordinating Council’s planning committee identified the promotion of volunteering as a priority in its ten year community plan, ’05-15: A Time to Change.’ Then, in 2007, the Council hosted the Green Valley Summit on Volunteerism with assistance from Meritage, La Posada and Green Valley Recreation.
Out of the Summit came the Green Valley Volunteer Taskforce with members representing the Chamber of Commerce, Pima Council on Aging, White Elephant, the Coordinating Council, the Green Valley Library, Valley Assistance Services, and other organizations. The Taskforce developed plans for Volunteer Clearinghouse, set up temporary office in the Council and members began to meet with potential volunteers to help them identify volunteer opportunities.
In 2008, the Taskforce held its first Volunteer Showcase at the Green Valley Library. It was a huge success in terms of numbers of agencies and potential volunteers. From that time on, the Showcase has been offered at GVR facilities.
Finally, in 2009, the Green Valley-Sahuarita Volunteer Clearinghouse was granted office space and equipment at the Community Performance and Arts Center (CPAC) by Pima Community College. Computer, insurance, auditing services and overall direction were provided by the Pima Council on Aging.
Subsequently, annual grants from Country Fair White Elephant and the Greater Green Valley Community Foundation have supported the Clearinghouse. In kind, space and additional resources have been provided to the Clearinghouse by Green Valley Recreation, La Posada, the Green Valley Library and the Friends of the Green Valley Library.
In 2013, Pima Community College needed to use the office that the Clearinghouse was using at CPAC. Friends in Deed invited the Clearinghouse and PCOA services to share an office in its facility which is perfectly situated in the heart of Green Valley where it still is located today.
In sum, the history of the Volunteer Clearinghouse is a story of community leaders seeing a need and coming together in response to that need. It is an all-volunteer project that is supported and sponsored by community-centered leaders and organizations.