For Immediate ReleaseJanuary 28, 2015
Report highlights contributions and “diversability” of County’s Volunteer Program
San Rafael, CA – The annual Volunteer and Student Intern Impact report, which details the total hourly and dollar equivalent contributions of Marin County’s Civic Center Volunteer and Student Intern Program, was presented at the January 27 Board of Supervisors meeting by the Department of Human Resources.
The 242,824 service hours contributed by the 6,752 volunteers and student interns was a new record for the program; totaling the equivalent of $9.7 million of services to the County of Marin.
“Marin County is rich in multi-talented, civic-minded individuals willing to share skills with their local government,” said Coordinator of Volunteers Anne Starr of Human Resources. The nearly quarter million hours from these talented individuals allowed the more than 25 participating County departments and agencies to “extend services to more seniors and others in need of safety net services, keep parks cleaner, and host local residents at meaningful events,” according to the annual report.
A highlight for Student Internship Coordinator Joy Fossett this year was the diversity and enthusiasm of the group of high school and college student interns in the Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department.
“I am always thrilled to hear how much interns enjoy their experience at the county and am amazed how often they want to come back because they enjoy the work!” said Fossett. For Starr, a particularly memorable volunteer team from last year was the group that contributed thousands of hours to support community events celebrating the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Civic Center’s 50th anniversary.
Beyond the hourly contributions and immeasurable enthusiasm and energy volunteers bring to the County, the report also highlights the acclaim the program has won for its exceptional diversity of participants. In October, the San Francisco District Office of the California Department of Rehabilitation recognized the Civic Center Volunteer program with a “diversability” award for providing opportunities for volunteers and interns living with disabilities.
“Our program, which marks its 36th anniversary this month, has long benefitted from the many contributions of people living with disabilities,” said Starr. “Two elements are essential: Applicants bring skills and a desire to serve the community, and County employees respond creatively.”
For example, the Information Services and Technology Department (IST), Senior Systems Support Analyst Frank Godino worked with a medically fragile UC Berkeley student to develop a virtual internship, which allowed the computer sciences student to work on IST projects from his apartment.
Not limited to at-home assignments, participants living with disabilities are actively volunteering onsite in a number of County offices as well. In the Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk’s Office, clients from the Marin Brain Injury Network work as volunteer assistants in office projects, and staff in the Public Defender’s Office arranged a work area to accommodate a college intern who uses a wheelchair.
The mission of the Civic Center Volunteer and Student Intern Program is to manage a partnership between community volunteers and County government to enhance County goals and services. As the program enters its 37th year in 2015, its commitment to its mission and inclusionary principles remains strong as ever. To get involved, visit www.marincounty.org and enter the keywords volunteer or internship, or contact Anne Starr at (415) 473-7167 or AStarr@marincounty.org for volunteering and Joy Fossett at (415) 473-7447 or JFossett@marincounty.org for student internships.
Photo: Student interns from the District Attorney's office at a recent volunteer recognition event.
Anne StarrVolunteer CoordinatorCounty of Marin
Marin County Civic Center3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 415San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-7167Email: Anne Starrwww.marincounty.org/hr