Celebrating the Volunteer Center of Lubbock
Helping people find their purpose and act on it
The Volunteer Center became a Community Partner in 1990 when a United Way steering committee determined a need for a separate volunteer and nonprofit management center to support area nonprofits. The organization currently supports more than 100 local nonprofits through volunteer recruitment, workshops, board training, and other programs. Each year thousands of volunteers of all ages connect to service opportunities through the Volunteer Center.
Since its founding, the Volunteer Center has also added leadership programming aimed at developing the next generation of community leaders. Yearlong programs and workshops seek to develop individuals and teams in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors.
A history of service
In October of 1989, United Way appointed a steering committee headed by Marjorie Kastman to study the need for a volunteer center. At the time United Way was filling this need in the community. The steering committee determined that there was a need not only for a volunteer center but a nonprofit management center, as well. The Volunteer Center of Lubbock was created to serve both roles. Services would include volunteer management and management assistance for agencies, the development of a database and matching of volunteer needs with resources, and the management of United Way direct services such as the Volunteer Bureau and United Way Youth Division.
Louise Cummins served as the agency's first executive director for 12 years before retiring. Louise was actively involved in many community efforts including the League of Women Voters, the Texas Nonprofit Management Assistance Network, Lubbock Area Coalition for Literacy, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She set an example for the organization she led and for many in the community, looking to better the South Plains through service.
Current Executive Director, Sharon Bass, has been with the organization for most of its history. Through her innovation and guidance, the Volunteer Center added leadership programming to develop leaders across the South Plains with a desire for serving the community.
The Volunteer Center today
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Volunteer Center connected more than 50,000 volunteers to opportunities to serve in 2020. The organization helped many nonprofits move their volunteer opportunities online and supported the community when volunteering was more crucial to local nonprofits than ever before.
The Volunteer Center continues to provide a rich array of programming, including family volunteering programs, youth programs, and volunteer and leadership opportunities for all ages.
Learn more about the Volunteer Center and its mission at https://volunteerlubbock.org/