Let’s Strengthen Our Communities Through Compassion

A white woman in a mask hands crates of strawberries to a young black man in a mask.

Twenty years ago in the aftermath of 9/11, our sense of community swelled.

We felt the overwhelming need to be together – to sit in the stands of the next high school football game, to help our neighbors, to share a smile with a stranger.

That’s not to say it didn’t also serve to catalyze Islamophobia and vast conflict. It most certainly did, and those horrible experiences should not be erased.

Many of us, though, shared a communal sense of goodwill.

We suddenly felt the significance of the greater good, channeling our trauma into action, our sorrow into support.

As small acts of kindness reverberated across the country, we felt closer than we had in a long time.

That compassion is always with us, and it shouldn’t take a crisis to tap into it.

Today, we have more advanced tools that connect us around the globe – from powerful algorithms to large-scale social media platforms.

Yet we’re more divided than ever.

So, we ask ourselves, “How can we use technology to connect us, rather than divide us?”

We hold this question close to our hearts, as do our partners at VolunteerNow.

Every day for the past 50 years they’ve provided strategic support to nonprofits and schools across North Texas.

Along with guidance and information sharing, VolunteerNow connects these organizations with the volunteers they rely on to help deliver critical resources and care to the community.

The budgets for these organizations continue to be stretched thin while more and more is expected of them.

Schools provide students with extensive services, ranging from food and laundry to counseling. Similarly, nonprofits must provide a patchwork of support for clients desperately in need of a social safety net. 

Through their work, VolunteerNow recognized an opportunity to harness people’s humanity through technology.

We’re proud to be part of this vision, developing VOLY.org, a platform that matches people with volunteer opportunities and allows organizations to filter applicants based on their needs.

Mobilizing volunteers online enables organizations to put more of their resources directly towards clients.

Parents helping with the carpool line free up teachers to work on lesson plans or tutor students who need additional assistance.

Volunteers prepping food and supplies at a shelter, enable staff to spend more time connecting clients to much-needed services that can serve them long-term.

On Sept. 11, a National Day of Service and Remembrance, you can see this in action at VOLY in the Park.

Thousands are expected to turn out for this outdoor event, which is the largest volunteer festival in Dallas.

We hope to see you there 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11 at Klyde Warren Park, another of our remarkable partners. 

Attendees can explore volunteer opportunities, chat directly with nonprofit staff and even help with hands-on projects.

More than 30 nonprofits will be on-site, ranging from animal welfare to social services and the arts, representing a sampling of the cause areas on VOLY.org.

Join us in making a commitment to service, whether it’s helping a nonprofit staff assemble kits for clients or signing up to volunteer each week.

Together, we can tap into our compassion and strengthen our communities.

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