Abingdon, Virginia July 29, 2015 – United Way of Southwest Virginia (UWSWVA) is pleased to announce it has received a $70,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Social Services’ Office of Volunteerism and Community Service, Volunteer Generation Fund. These funds will support the United Way of Southwest Virginia Volunteer Center.

The United Way of Southwest Virginia Volunteer Center operates in 13 counties and two cities, serving approximately 15% of the state of Virginia. The grant has enabled the organization to hire Volunteer Center Manager, Debby Loggans, to oversee the operations of the Volunteer Center, working with regional organizations and individuals to create and fulfill meaningful volunteer opportunities. Goals of the grant include volunteer management training for organizations, working with area companies to establish volunteer policies for employees, implement a volunteer recognition and appreciation program and to implement a disaster preparedness program resulting in 153 new volunteers, with 22 hours of service each to Southwest Virginia communities by September 30 2015, the end of the grant period.

“The hiring of Volunteer Center Manager, Debby Loggans, will raise the Volunteer Center to a much higher level,” said Travis Staton, CEO of United Way. “Having a staff person to engage, not only the volunteers themselves but our community partners, provides a much needed personal component to the program.”

Loggans reported that over 180 volunteers have registered online with a total of over 400 hours of service since the beginning of the project in March. Employees of Berry Home Centers are included in these numbers and are helping United Way reach their goal. “It is obvious that the people of Southwest Virginia are eager to help their neighbors through volunteerism,” Loggans stated. “In order to fulfill the grant requirements we will need individuals, organizations and businesses to utilize the volunteer center to its fullest. I am here to help them do just that. Today, employees of Berry Home Centers and members of the Washington County 4-H are participating in “A Berry Good Day of Volunteering” by completing much needed volunteer opportunities for United Way.”

The Virginia Department of Social Services’ Office of Volunteerism and Community Service Volunteer Generation Fund awarded the grant through funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Those wishing to volunteer across Southwest Virginia should visit www.volunteerswva.org or call 276-628-2160.