Did you know that the new Barrington Area Volunteer Connection (BAVC) is also a nonprofit organization and run by a committee of 16 volunteers who support the website, community outreach, the nonprofits and the volunteers?
Diane Kerekes, one of our initial volunteers instrumental in setting up the BAVC platform, shared her thoughts with us:
Why did you volunteer with BAVC?
Diane Kerekes: My neighbor, Bob Lee, is a force of nature for good in the Barrington community! Bob approached me shortly after I left my corporate job and explained his vision for a “one stop shop” for Barrington volunteers to match their interests and passions with local nonprofits.
We knew that there were many residents searching to add meaning to their lives through volunteering, but these volunteers may not always know how to search for the right opportunities. We also knew there were nonprofits seeking new volunteers who may not have the marketing outreach needed to reach a larger audience. After researching options for volunteer match software, I saw an opportunity for me to apply my experience with software implementation and training to this meaningful new project!
What is your role for BAVC?
Diane Kerekes: My role at BAVC could be called software implementation/technology project manager. After we identified Galaxy Digital as the best platform for BAVC, I learned the software and worked on customizing it for our community.
Early on, we were very fortunate to also bring together Sam Adams-Lanham from Barrington Area Library as a key strategic partner as well as a group of wonderful ambassadors who all helped with engaging over 70 local nonprofits with our mission.
I managed the demos and training of about 150 nonprofit managers as we guided them to create profiles and post volunteer needs on the BAVC platform. We were also fortunate to have a creative marketing team help with the naming, branding, and publicity to get the word out to our community. Post launch, I continue to help with technical support and as a member of the steering committee.
Have you volunteered with other organizations in the past?
Diane Kerekes: The other volunteer work that I am currently involved with includes serving as a mentor in the One Million Degrees program at Harper College; member of the grant review committee for Impact 100 and working with Eldercare making assurance calls to seniors. Prior volunteer work includes: serving as Treasurer and on committees with the Barrington Junior Women’s Club and serving on the Fox Point board as Treasurer and President.
Diane and her husband, Matt, have lived in the Barrington Area for almost 25 years and has been an active residents. Matt has been involved with The Build Team and Neurobalance for the past 3 years.
Diane is a great example of someone who is using their skills and talents for a volunteer organization in the area and we are fortunate to have her on board with BAVC!
Don’t forget – April is National Volunteer Month and the perfect time to consider getting involved! Visit thebavc.org to find how your skills and talents can align to support our local nonprofits.
About the Barrington Area Volunteer Connection
Launched in January of 2021, the Barrington Area Volunteer Connection (BAVC) was developed via a partnership between Barrington Area Development Council and the Barrington Area Library. BAVC’s goal is to bring all 100+ Barrington area nonprofits, churches and service organizations in one searchable database so that volunteers can easily find opportunities. The foundation of BAVC is a volunteer match platform called Get Connected which serves as a clearinghouse to bring together organizations, volunteers, and collaborators to match volunteer interests with nonprofits needing assistance. GetConnected also offers organizations optional features such as easy record keeping of volunteer hours, as well as mobile check in and shift reminders and other ways to communicate with volunteers. Learn more at TheBAVC.org. * BAVC Photos by Bob Lee