Greater Ottawa County United Way is seeking community members to volunteer in the funding process of human service programs in Ottawa County. The process begins with a training mid-February and runs through mid-April. Community Investment volunteers help determine where the funds raised during United Way’s annual campaign are invested. They review program applications, tour program sites and meet to discuss the program’s effectiveness. Programs are categorized in one of the three impact areas of education, financial stability/basic needs and health.

“This unique process allows community members to make decisions that impact the community where they live, work and play,” says Liz DeLaLuz, United Way’s Vice President of of Community Impact. “It’s also a great way to learn about the services available in Ottawa County.”

Volunteers are assigned to panels, and starting in mid-February, each panel reviews program applications for one of the impact areas. Panel members will have a pre-tour meeting to review all program applications; one week later the panels visit the agencies to learn all about the programs and the impact they have on the community. After the tours are complete, the panels meet to discuss the applications and make their funding recommendations. Then panel leaders meet to finalize the recommendations for presentation to United Way’s Board of Directors. The volunteer time commitment is about 15-20 hours over a two-month period.

To volunteer for the 2018 community investment process, email Angel Mendiola at amendiola@ottawaunitedway.org or visit www.ottawaunitedway.org/community-investment-volunteer-info to learn more.