Mark Turner “Super System Developer” for International Focus

Lifelong civic volunteer and superstar of geekery – Mark Turner – has been deeply involved in good causes for years, and now he is, once again, putting his skills to use as a “Super System Developer” and Pro Hero to Triangle nonprofit, International Focus! Online Registration System Development for International Focus International Focus, Inc. is a Triangle nonprofit that supports North Carolina’s international communities via cross-cultural communication, education, understanding, and the celebration of culture from around the world. Currently, International Focus is faced with the challenge of a cumbersome website that doesn’t allow  registrants to access adequate information. In Turner’s role as the “Super System Developer,” he’s working directly with International Focus to create a seamless registration system, built specifically to cater to event vendors, participants and volunteers. When he’s done, Turner will ensure that staff can use the new system with ease by offering a training session to get them ready. Turner shares this organization’s mission: “I share International Focus’s mission to celebrate cultures from around the world. I have also been helping other Raleigh nonprofits with organizing their data and was pleased that I could do the same for International Focus.” Use those superhero skills, Mark! More Than a Pro Hero; A ‘Pro Volunteer’ as Well! Now serving his sixth year on Raleigh’s parks board, Turner has volunteered for a number of other organizations, including: East Citizens Advisory Council Raleigh Citizens Advisory Council Friends of World Music Little Raleigh Radio Friends of Dorothea Dix Park River Guardian Foundation Of the above volunteer experiences, Turner feels that his volunteer work with the Friends of World Music really prepped him...

52 Weeks; 52 Ways to Volunteer in the Triangle in 2014

You’ve already pledged your time to give back. Now it’s time to put that plan into action! Let’s join together and make 2014 the best year to volunteer in the Triangle! To help kick things off, we’ve listed 52 awesome ways to volunteer in the Triangle in 2014, each idea representing a single week throughout the year. Feel free to print this list off and tape it to your fridge as a weekly reminder; or bring it to work to share it with coworkers. Don’t forget–we have TONS of volunteer opportunities throughout the Triangle just waiting for someone like you to fill them! January Week 1 – Are you a working professional with a specific skill set? Adopt a high impact pro bono project for a local cause through the Activate Good Pro-Heroes Initiative. Week 2 – Donate unused gifts and/or clothing to your favorite Triangle charity organization. Week 3 – Volunteer for an hour or more at the Durham Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Week 4 –  Join Activate Good for dinner in celebration of Martin Luther King Junior weekend as we discuss community issues and how we can solve them during our 4th annual MLK Sunday Supper. Then, join others in volunteering throughout the Triangle community during the MLK Day of Service. (Love music? Check out this music-themed volunteer opportunity with MusicianCorps for MLK Day!) Week 5 – Speak Spanish? Help the Scott-Free Foundation reach local Latino communities to provide enriching camp experiences to youth! February Week 1 – Celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month by putting together dental hygiene kits for shelters. Include some fun activity sheets for kids...

5 Ways to Volunteer using Your Creative Talents

Want to volunteer in the Triangle while utilizing your creative talent? There are many opportunities for people to share their musical, writing, artistic talents with others. Here are a few of those opportunities: 1. Plan Events with Historic Oakwood Cemetery Do you have a knack for planning events and bringing people together? Historic Oakwood Cemetery is partnering with volunteers to help plan and organize new and creative events on their grounds. Volunteers are encouraged to think outside the box while sharing the culture and history of the Historic Oakwood Cemetery. 2. Support local art and artists Maybe you aren’t very good at making art, but you love it anyways. Art enthusiasts can volunteer with Artspace as Docents to their galleries. You can spend your time taking groups around the gallery and explaining the various pieces of art. What better way to share your enthusiasm for art than by talking to other people about it! 3. Help get the word out about musical concerts in the area For individuals who both love social media and music, Pinecone – the Piedmont Council for Traditional Music, is looking for volunteers to post information on social media before and after the concerts. Volunteers will have the chance to enjoy traditional music and interact with others who share their love of music. 4. Share your creative talents with children Little Steps Nursery is looking for guest speakers to share their talents with their 2-4 year olds. If you happen to be an artist, musician, storyteller, or teacher this is a great opportunity for you to share it with the children. Little Steps Nursery does...

HagerSmith Design PA and Friends of Hemlock Bluffs blaze trail to educate youth

HagerSmith Design PA is an architecture design firm in Raleigh, NC that specializes in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, and Historic Preservation. HagerSmith Design is a great asset to our community and has volunteered for many local organization—including the Boy Scouts of America, DHIC of Raleigh, and the Raleigh Catholic Diocese—by providing pro bono work. Recently, HagerSmith Design volunteered their expertise to help another organization: the Friends of Hemlock Bluffs. The Friends of Hemlock Bluffs is a nonprofit that is dedicated to supporting Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in Cary, NC. Hemlock Bluffs is looking to create a new trail, a Children’s Exploration Trail that “will allow [Hemlock Bluffs] to expand our environmental education and help future generations learn and appreciate nature,” according to Laura White, a Nature Center Supervisor at Hemlock Bluffs. As White explains, “the overall idea is to develop a space where toddlers, preschool and young elementary age children, and their parents can explore nature along a trail in a safe and hazard free environment. The goal of this trail is to encourage parent and child relationships as they enjoy nature together.” Friends of Hemlock Bluffs hoped to create this trail, but lacked access to the professional landscape architect expertise needed to achieve their vision. That’s where Activate Good came in, connecting Friends of Hemlock Bluffs with talent from HagerSmith Design PA. The HagerSmith Design team – Jamie Loyack, Vice President/Principle Landscape Architect, Jimmy Thiem, Vice President/Principle, and Sarah Troutman, LEED AP Vice President & Interior Design Group Manager – buddied up with the Friends of Hemlock Bluffs to envision the trail. Using their enthusiasm, creativity and...
“The Social Connector” (alias Shannon Ritchie) Saves the Day!

“The Social Connector” (alias Shannon Ritchie) Saves the Day!

By day, Shannon Ritchie is director of online engagement at the A.J. Fletcher Foundation. This month, though, she stars as the Pro Hero known as “The Social Connector” as she participates in Activate Good’s Pro Heroes Month by sharing her social media prowess pro bono with The Healing Place of Wake County. The Healing Place of Wake County provides shelter and long-term rehabilitation programs to homeless men and women who struggle with alcohol and drug addiction. To continue serving community members and achieving their amazing success rate of 75% sober one year post graduation, The Healing Place looks to social media to assist in cultivating new donors and supporters. That’s where Ritchie’s expertise comes in. Ritchie, “The Social Connector”, is working with The Healing Place to put together a social media plan for Facebook and Twitter so that they can start reaching new populations of potential donors. A “game changing” project, The Healing Place hopes that a more active presence on social media will increase awareness of their work, and are very excited to see what new opportunities social media will hold for them. With “The Social Connector” on the job, there’s no doubt that they will see results. “I’ve worked for nonprofit organizations for the past 5+ years and just recently received my masters in public policy. My interests have evolved over this time but the steady trend is my passion for engaging and transforming communities using a modern digital toolkit,” explains Ritchie. “In other words, I’m a big nerd and love using data and all of the wonderful online tools available for social change.” Lisa Rousseau, volunteer coordinator at The Healing...