Fulop Administration Launches ‘Serve Jersey City’ Website to Connect Residents with Volunteer Opportunities at Local Non-Profits

‘Serve Jersey City’ is Part of Jersey City’s Partnership with the National Nonprofit Cities of Service

JERSEY CITY – As the nation prepares to pay tribute to the life and legacy of service of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced today the launch of ‘Serve Jersey City,’ a new citizen-powered resource that connects residents with volunteer opportunities as part of Cities Of Service, a national nonprofit organization that supports mayors and city chief executives to engage local communities and residents in identifying challenges and solving problems together. Serve Jersey City includes projects led by the City of Jersey City, local nonprofits and community groups.

“As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” said Mayor Fulop. “We hear all the time from residents asking how they can get involved with their community and volunteer, and that’s why we’ve launched the city’s first clearing house for service opportunities on the very weekend we pay tribute to Dr. King’s legacy.”

Serve Jersey City, at http://volunteer.jerseycitynj.gov enables residents to identify and search for volunteer opportunities based on their interests, skills, schedule availability, and date. Registered users can log volunteer hours, create a user profile which sends them volunteer opportunities when it matches their search criteria, and bookmark opportunities.

Several local nonprofits and other community organizations have already registered to be a part of Serve Jersey City. These inaugural signatories include the Jersey City Parks Coalition, Boys and Girls Club of Hudson County, The Sharing Place, Hudson County CASA, Liberty Humane Society, Team Walker, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hudson, Bergen and Essex Counties, and New City Kids. Other nonprofits and community groups are strongly encouraged to register their volunteer opportunities.

The City of Jersey City also seeks to tap Serve Jersey City to recruit committed volunteers for JC shovels, a program that will provide volunteer shoveling of snow for low-income seniors who can no longer do so for themselves. The Department of Public Works also seeks to identify volunteers for a planned citywide cleanup this spring. In addition, the city in partnership with United Rescue and the Jersey City Medical Center, will recruit emergency assistance volunteers through Serve Jersey City.

“The Sharing Place is grateful to participate in Serve Jersey City, a platform that enables participants to build a volunteerism resume that helps certify residents for other volunteer and career opportunities,” said Jim Nelson, Executive Director of the Sharing Place, a food pantry in the Journal Square area, which utilizes 20 to 40 volunteers per months. “It is particularly exciting that Jersey City is launching this program in conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, realizing that service opportunities help us Live The Dream, for an inclusive community that addresses immediate human needs and workforce development.

“The Serve Jersey City website platform for integrating volunteerism and workforce development is an asset for non-profit/social impact, arts and service organizations. It underscores the importance of the non-profit sector to the vitality of Jersey City, and the value-added of building relationships among civic, social service and business sectors for social change and workforce development,” added Nelson.

“We are excited to partner with Mayor Fulop in this important initiative. Serve Jersey City will enable residents to easily and effectively find opportunities to serve alongside local organizations, building relationships and working towards achieving long-term change in their communities,” said Myung Lee, Executive Director of Cities of Service.

Serve Jersey City also aims to raise awareness and empower residents to address local challenges. Many nonprofits face obstacles when it comes to recruiting and retaining volunteers. Through Serve Jersey City, organizations will be able to engage more volunteers and to use them more effectively. Serve Jersey City also seeks to maintain strong partnerships with local non-profit organizations in order to expand and enhance programs that serve residents in need.

The administration will be reaching out to the Jersey City Public Schools to develop a system where students who are required to complete community service hours as part of their curriculum can be connected to non-profits through Serve Jersey City.

Any non-profit organization who would like to be listed in the Serve Jersey City database can register at the following link: http://volunteer.jerseycitynj.gov/register.

In January 2013, President Obama called for a National Day of Service that coincided with the Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend of Service. As a result, thousands of Americans joined the First Family and engaged in service across the nation. Jersey City is encouraging residents to commit to service in their community not only on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, but throughout the entire year.

ABOUT CITIES OF SERVICE:

Cities of Service is a national nonprofit organization that supports mayors and city chief executives to engage local communities and residents in identifying challenges and solving problems together. We work with cities to help them build city-led, citizen-powered programs that target specific needs and achieve long-term, measurable outcomes that improve the quality of life for residents and build stronger cities.

An independent, nonpartisan organization, Cities of Service was started in 2009 by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Today, the Cities of Service coalition is comprised of over 200 cities in the US and UK, representing more than 52 million people in 45 states, and more than 10 million in the UK.

All media inquiries should be directed to Jennifer Morrill, Press Secretary to Mayor Steven M. Fulop at jenniferm@jcnj.org or 201-376-0699.////

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