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The City Journals

Just serve: a new way to volunteer

Mar 28, 2017 03:19PM ● By Tiffany Webb

Planting trees for volunteer work. (Pixabay)

By Tiffany Webb | [email protected]

Volunteering in the community may have become easier thanks to a new website formed to help those wanting to volunteer find service projects that match their interests and qualifications.

Briefly during the Feb. 27 city council meeting, Sheril Garn, Parks and Recreation director, mentioned that is now available to Riverton residents who want to find service projects in the community.

Mayor Bill Applegarth provided the South Valley Journal with information about the Just Serve initiative in Riverton boundaries. The website, which was created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is still new. It allows people to see what service projects are available within and outside their city.

“It is a tool for the community, not just members of the LDS church, to look for service projects within the community,” Applegarth said.

A ZIP code is all that’s needed for the site to determine what service projects are available in the nearby area. There is also the capability to step out of the city boundaries and find volunteer service projects in other cities as well.

“You can register if you want, but you can also just go on the site to see what they have there,” Applegarth stated. “Its just such a wonderful concept to me.”

According to Applegarth, there is a wide range of volunteer opportunities available on the site. The site might include, for example, opportunities to deliver weekly groceries from the food bank to those in need or take cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Applegarth mentioned that there’s project listed in Bulffdale in April to help put playground equipment together.  

Currently, Riverton City leaders are working with Just Serve to gather information about service projects within Riverton and to upload those to the website. According to Applegarth, there will be different kinds of park projects throughout Riverton.

If settings are set within 25 miles of the users ZIP code, there are hundreds of service opportunities in Riverton’s surrounding cities to choose from.

“Its not just LDS church projects—it’s community members, nonprofit and governmental agencies,” Applegarth said. “Its just a wonderful clearing house to be able to serve the public.”

To Applegarth, the Riverton citizens are very giving. He said they show this through the service projects they get involved in, using the middle school and high school Christmas charity drives as examples.

“My observation of Riverton citizens is they are a very giving, service-oriented, volunteer-oriented group of people,” Applegarth said. “I feel that Riverton citizens do a lot of service, and this is just another tool to help them do what they do so well.”

Anyone can visit the website and search for great service project opportunities. Whether it be helping out in the parks by cleaning up,  planting trees or helping struggling readers in elementary schools, Riverton has opportunities for volunteer work.