[Source: Cathryn Creno, Arizona Republic] — The City of Phoenix now has a Web page where people can search for ways to volunteers at city parks, social service programs, libraries, and more. The site was launched Monday in response from calls from citizens wanting to volunteer time to programs in the wake of the city budget crisis, said Deborah Dillon, the city’s education program director. The opportunities listed include a program to guide visitors at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, a graffiti cleanup program, the Phoenix Police reserves, and the volunteer gardeners at parks, including the Japanese Friendship Garden in downtown Phoenix. Training typically is provided to most city volunteers.
Dillon said the city is still in the process of trimming programs to balance an approximate $270 budget deficit and is not sure where the biggest needs are yet. And, “because we haven’t had a central place for volunteers to register their interest, I don’t know the answers to how many new volunteers have come forward,” she said. “Our first step was to put together a better website so it would be easier for them to find out volunteer opportunities.”
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As of Wednesday, February 11, according to sources within City Hall, not one person has signed up via the city’s website to volunteer. Knock on wood, the number increases as word spreads about the program.