Volunteer Mississippi, the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service, recently implemented new features to support Mississippi organizations and projects needing volunteers or support.

Volunteer Mississippi exists to engage and support all Mississippians in service to their communities, and it works to find innovative ways to accomplish this mission. To help connect volunteers with opportunities, the agency recently relaunched its website to better help volunteers and organizations fill their needs.

One of the new website features is a free-to-use volunteer calendar. Any organization seeking volunteers for its events, whether recurring or a special event, can fill out a simple form describing its need for volunteers. From there, the event is posted to the Volunteer Mississippi calendar. Those seeking an opportunity to volunteer can view the calendar to find an upcoming service opportunity.

Mississippi organizations have benefitted greatly from this service, and well over 100 organizations have had their need for volunteers filled through the volunteer calendar. Corie Jones, deputy director, public relations at Volunteer Mississippi, designed the volunteer opportunity system, and she is thrilled with the success of the system.

“It can be difficult to find volunteers or a place to serve, so our goal was to simplify the process,” said Jones, “and we were able to accomplish that. I’m proud of the positive response we’ve had to our calendar. From disaster relief to food distribution and everything in between. Volunteer Mississippi is truly connecting volunteers with opportunities.”

Along with the volunteer opportunity platform, Volunteer Mississippi’s website also contains new funding opportunities available to Mississippi organizations. Along with existing AmeriCorps grants, Volunteer Mississippi has opened applications for Volunteer and Civic Engagement Mini-Grants.

These mini-grants are available to registered 501(c)(3) nonprofits in the state of Mississippi seeking assistance to offset costs involved with a project or event that engages Mississippians of all ages and backgrounds in service to their communities.

These mini-grants are the second round offered to Mississippi organizations, and each applicant could receive up to $10,000 of reimbursement. Eligible projects must take place between July 1, 20­­23 and December 31, 2023 and must engage at least 10 volunteers within the grant period. Suzanne Scales-Rutherford, interim co-executive director and AmeriCorps grant officer at Volunteer Mississippi, says that these mini-grants are a chance for non-profits to experience financial relief.

“These mini-grants give us the opportunity to assist the organizations that are the backbone of Mississippi,” Rutherford said. “Volunteer Mississippi understands the hard work that goes into civic engagement, and we want to recognize the organizations that make a difference in their communities. Our goal for the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Mini-Grants is to positively impact organizations and in turn, positively impact Mississippi.”

These two opportunities are not the only new features available on Volunteer Mississippi’s redesigned website. Visitors can find information on events hosted by the agency, AmeriCorps grant information and a new “About Us” page that clearly articulates the mission and vision of Volunteer Mississippi.

The mission of Volunteer Mississippi is to engage and support Mississippians of all ages and backgrounds in service to their communities. Volunteer Mississippi works to connect volunteers with opportunities to serve around the state of Mississippi. The agency houses AmeriCorps Mississippi and partners with Mississippi service organizations to promote volunteerism to all Mississippi residents. To learn more about Volunteer Mississippi or get involved, visit volunteermississippi.org.