A nonprofit organization is offering help for those who are looking to volunteer, but don't quite know where to start.
VolunteerSquare.org consolidates volunteer opportunities in the Fairfield County area and allows volunteers to sign up online.
"Technology is bringing us closer and closer together but on some level it hasn't," said Rachel Reese, executive director of VolunteerSquare. "On some level, it keeps us isolated, so we wanted to use technology to make human connections, we are the middleman, the switchboard operator connecting nonprofits in need with people."
VolunteerSquare was founded by Ned Brokaw, of Darien, who launched the site two years ago. It has grown to cover all of Fairfield County. It has undergone recent renovations, relaunching in October. It is now working with 60 nonprofit agencies and 400 volunteers.
Volunteers can search by type of service on the site and review opportunities they might want to try.
"I think it is fantastic that they allow people to see what there is available and provide a really important piece of the whole volunteering circle," said Jennifer Kelley, co-founder and director of Kids Helping Kids in Stamford, a VolunteerSquare member agency.
Volunteers who sign up and pick their interests will receive an email when a volunteer opportunity matching their focus is posted by an agency.
Organizations nationwide have been using the site to find volunteers and increase awareness of their programs.
Volunteer Laurie Jones, of Norwalk, said there are many people like her who want to volunteer, but just don't know how to find opportunities. Jones volunteers with Community Plates in Norwalk as a food rescuer.
"I am educating myself about all the incredible agencies helping people right here in Fairfield County and it is only touching the tip of the iceberg," Jones said. "I am impressed and inspired by all of the great agencies out there that offer help to people."
Many people are coming to the site to find ways to keep their skills sharp while they look for jobs.
"We have a whole new population of volunteers who are recent college graduates who want to build their resumes and don't want to be at home, or there are mature professionals adding to their resumes, seeking employment and finding an opportunity to give back to the community, which they didn't have time to do when working full time," said Janet King, director of volunteers at Person-to-Person in Darien, which is also a VolunteerSquare agency member.