Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Last year, more than 162 volunteers logged almost 12,000 hours to help neighbors in need through South Hills Interfaith Ministries in Bethel Park.
With these numbers expected to continue to rise, the organization recently announced the hiring of Rebecca Maletto-Cornell as volunteer manager.
In this new position, Ms. Cornell will coordinate and maintain current volunteer relationships while recruiting more members of the community to get involved. Her other responsibilities include marketing, representing the organization at events, matching volunteers’ interests to the organization’s needs and hosting volunteer orientations.
Ms. Cornell holds 11 years of volunteer management experience from a variety of Pittsburgh organizations and has been a member of the Volunteer Administrators of Southwestern Pennsylvania for 12 years. In 2010, she was a recipient of the organization’s Evie Award, which recognizes achievement in volunteer administration.
Prior to her start with SHIM, Ms. Cornell worked for Amachi Pittsburgh and the American Red Cross recruiting and maintaining volunteers and planning volunteer events and opportunities.
She described her job at the Red Cross as her most rewarding work in volunteerism and said it ignited her passion to become involved with an organization such as SHIM that makes a difference in somebody else’s life.
“ It’s really refreshing to go into work where everybody is excited and can’t wait for new changes to help more people ”
“With all of the services they provide, SHIM, to me, is a community leader. It really is neighbors helping neighbors,” she said. “People are drawn to that, and I’m drawn to that as well.”
Ms. Cornell said many parents have shown an interest in serving alongside their children to teach them the act of giving, and students have been reaching out as well with community service now a part of many high school and college curriculums.
In response, the organization, with the help of Ms. Cornell, will be expanding opportunities for people to volunteer on evenings and weekends, including more family-friendly experiences, networking opportunities and programs for high school students.
She recently coordinated “Winter Break with SHIM,” during which participating students helped the organization reorganize, clean and prepare for the new year.
Ms. Cornell said she wants people to think about volunteerism in a different way and hopes to pool the resources of local professionals, seniors, community groups and individuals who may have a hobby or interest that could benefit others.
“Everybody always has something to offer,” she said. “How can their skills be used to help their neighbors and how can we work with each other to extend our services in a different kind of way?”
Opportunities include but are not limited to event planning, gardening, office work, early childhood programs and helping students who may be struggling with their homework.
As the organization gears up for a new year, Ms. Cornell said 2016 is going to be marked by new and exciting changes that will be rolling out throughout the year.
“It’s really refreshing to go into work where everybody is excited and can’t wait for new changes to help more people,” she said. “I’m ready to get on board, work hard, and really see the organization grow as a whole.”