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Main Street Ripley volunteer program part of statewide initiative

Volunteer program part of statewide initiative

Photos by Candice Black Main Street Ripley is now a part of Volunteer WV, which provides resources for agencies and volunteers.

RIPLEY — Ripley and Ravenswood are implementing a new volunteer program as part of the Volunteer WV initiative.

The initiative is the “lead agency for volunteerism and National Service in West Virginia,” according to its website.

Main Street Ripley and the Jackson County Community Foundation are facilitators of the program. Sally Blessing, interim executive director of Main Street Ripley, said the center in Jackson County is one of eight volunteer centers from Volunteer WV.

A grant of around $20,000 was received from Volunteer WV to implement the program. The funds were used for training and promotional materials, Blessing said.

The program involves use of a website where agencies will be able to post their needs to volunteers and in turn, any one who wants to volunteer will have access to any type of volunteer work they want.

Blessing said the website tracks volunteer hours and converts them to a dollar amount that benefits the community. She said this will aid in grant writing.

“(It) works for encouragement for the volunteer,” Blessing said.

A training for agencies wanting to use the program will take place 6:30 p.m. Thursday and 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Alpine Theatre in Ripley. The program will be rolled out to the public on Oct. 17 during the Jackson County Foundation dinner.

“After the roll out, anyone can come in and be trained at Main Street Ripley,” Blessing said.

Training will include information on how to use the program.

In terms of helping the community, Blessing feels it will help with collaboration. She said the program will include a community event calendar which will offer agencies a chance to “combine events and make both of them better.”

“This is a gift to the community. I am hoping they will take it and run with it. It will be an awesome tool to Jackson County,” Blessing said.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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