UW Combined Fund Drive

April 19, 2021

It’s National Volunteering Week

At the University of Washington Combined Fund Drive, our purpose is to support and provide UW employees the opportunity to give. You’ve heard the call to make a difference – you donate more and volunteer more than anyone else! UW employees are regularly recognized as some of the most generous with their time and money.

Why Volunteer?

While we all strive to be altruistic, we also act on reasons that help ourselves. There are countless benefits to volunteering, for yourself and the community. Volunteering builds trust between communities and nonprofits, can teach new skills and expand your field of interest, and help you connect and expand your network.

Who knows, you may take on exciting leadership roles, new skills may be the ticket to a great job, and new connections may become new best friends!

In Washington State, each hour you volunteer saves a nonprofit more than $30.00!

Volunteering is a wonderful family activity. In addition to the bonding that happens when families are active together, volunteering offers a sense of purpose and can start a conversation about community problems and how to be part of the solution. By setting the example of volunteering, kids may internalize the importance of giving back to the community and being action oriented.

Volunteering can be part of a healthy lifestyles. You read that right – volunteering has serious health benefits! Volunteering has been shown to reduce stress, boost confidence, and increase life span. Studies have also found that volunteers experience stimulating physical and mental activity when they volunteer.

For many people, the social interactions and relationship building associated with volunteering help reduce depression. Another aspect of volunteering that increases dopamine is the “Happiness Effect”. We get happy when we help other people!

Volunteer Opportunities

“Whether due to a disability, a lack of transportation, or time constraints, many people choose to volunteer their time via phone or computer. In today’s digital age, many organizations need help with writing, graphic design, email, and other web-based tasks.” – HelpGuide

If you are able, here are some great local opportunities and resources for volunteering. With so many ways to give your time, we encourage you to log your time with the CFD Volunteer Tracker.

Volunteering Around Seattle

Volunteer Vaccinator: International Community Health Services is in need of volunteers to administer the Covid-19 vaccination to their community members. If you are interested, please complete this application! Age minimum: 21

ROOTS In-Shelter Morning+ Volunteer: ROOTS Young Adult Shelter, an emergency shelter that is almost exclusively volunteer run and open 365 days a year, is seeking volunteers who primarily do operational tasks. Most importantly, volunteers will provide social support to the folks who stay here and build meaningful relationships. You must be at least 18 years of age to volunteer. For more information and contact information, click here.

ESL (English as a Second Language) Volunteers: Helping Link/Một Dấu Nối is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that envisions strong Vietnamese families that are intergenerational, connected, and united. They need some help from volunteers, age 18 and up, that have experience in ESL teaching/tutoring (to be done virtually). Helping Link is looking to provide education to older Vietnamese community members in navigating technology. Click here for more information.

Sew Face Masks for Lafayette Elementary PTA: Lafayette PTA is in need of 2 layer cloth face masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among staff and students who began in-person learning on April 5th.  The school district has provided cloth face masks but these are too large for our young learners.  If you’re able to provide some or all of these masks, please follow this link and click “respond” at the bottom of the page. Someone will reach out to you to confirm the number of masks you can provide and delivery details.

Phone Friend to Senior in King County: Providence ElderPlace helps older adults remain as healthy and independent as possible in the community for as long as possible. ElderPlace is in need of volunteers to make phone or video calls to isolated seniors. It’s important for all of us to have someone to talk to, especially during this very isolating and difficult time.  Volunteers build relationships with seniors in the community, making calls once or twice a week. Must be 18 or older. For more information or to respond to the call, click here.

Learn more about community  and COVID-19 related volunteering opportunities.

Also, check out some wonderful nonprofit resources to find your next volunteering opportunity: VolunteerMatch, Seattle Works, and United Way of King County.

Don’t forget – you can also volunteer with the UWCFD! The UWCFD Events Committee is made up of volunteers from across campus and representatives from local charities who promote and enhance the CFD campaign efforts at UW. The events committee works on the campaign year-round including planning the coordinator kickoff, charity fair, charity workshops and recognition. For more information, reach out to uwcfd@uw.edu.