by Danny Bush
At the end of November, Glendale–along with the rest of Maricopa county–was among one of the first places in the United States to test a new website created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. JustServe will facilitate the process for groups of all kinds, from the smallest family to the largest organizations, to participate in community service in their area.
Jeff Blake, a representative of the LDS church and the city outreach specialist for Glendale, plays a major part in inviting organizations in need of volunteers to post opportunities on the website. Blake has been a part of the retrieval of the hundreds of volunteer opportunities that are now found on the website. In fact, in just a 15-mile radius around Glendale, there are approximately 150 opportunities.
Blake placed emphasis on how JustServe is accessible by anyone. “It’s free for everyone,” said Blake, “I think that this is just the beginning of a stream of volunteers that is quickly turning into a river of volunteers.”
In the few months that JustServe has been present in Glendale, several organizations have been recruited to post their needs on the website. In response, hundreds of volunteers have come out of the woodworks.
Though the website was created by the LDS church, it is clear on the homepage that the JustServe program was not created for proselyting purposes. Instead, the church invites all to “love thy neighbor as thyself” and to volunteer in the community.
There are no requirements to sign up; one simply puts basic information into an account which will allow that person to be put on a list of volunteers for listed activities. By looking at the site, one will take note that the service opportunities extend out several months in the future and give a chance for anyone to serve.
Along with the LDS church, several other churches and organizations have teamed up to make the program successful. Blake attributes this to a simple mantra. He said, “If you truly want to be happy, serve others.”
This free program is still being tested by a few other counties along with Maricopa county. As of now, volunteers are still needed. There are plenty of opportunities for students at Glendale Community College looking to expand their horizons and to bulk up a job resume. For more information, visit JustServe.org.