Carmel City Council aims to connect volunteers, events


City councilor Jeff Worrell said he’s often approached by residents — especially new ones — who want to get involved in volunteer activities.

Soon, there could be a new way to connect would-be volunteers with nonprofit organizations. Volunteer Carmel would help people discover ways to give back through organizations such as CarmelFest, the Carmel Farmers Market, PorchFest and more.

“It would be a clearing house, of sorts,” Worrell said.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said the city attempted something similar with the Carmel Action Network, which also tried to match people and organizations.

“This formalizes it up a little bit since it’ll be an actual ordinance sent to the city council,” Brainard said. “We could get a little funding for it, actually, since you do have to staff it.”

Brainard said the proposed initiative would have a website and Facebook page. He said an employee would administer it but it wouldn’t be a full-time position. The organizations would be responsible for background checks.

“What better way is there to meet your neighbors than to volunteer with an organization?” Brainard said. “We find a lot of people who just moved here are looking for volunteer opportunities, not just to give back to the community but also to meet people.”

Brainard said events such as the Carmel Christkindlmarkt would not have worked without volunteers.

“We couldn’t do most of the events throughout the city without volunteers,” he said. “It would be at a much greater cost.”

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