Augustans develop Web sites for use by local nonprofits

The Internet has become a tool for people to do just about anything -- research, shop, network -- even connect volunteers with nonprofit organizations.

"In our busy lives, people think that there's no time for volunteering or that they will have trouble finding places to volunteer," said Angela Hillesland, the creator of VolunteerAugusta.com. "But we can always give back, even if it's in a small way, and by providing the Web site, people have a one-stop place to see all the opportunities available to volunteer and give back."

Ms. Hillesland created the site in 2000 after volunteering at the Celebrate 2000 event in Augusta on New Year's Eve 1999.

"I met so many volunteers that night who worked hard and went above and beyond," she said. "They came back to me at the end of the event and asked about ways they could do more volunteering.

''It occurred to me to be a liaison for people in this area who wanted to volunteer and for nonprofit organizations that need volunteers."

The Web site includes a page that lists the organizations' daily needs; a resource page that lists nonprofit organizations and their contact information; and a calendar page that lists area events.

The site started with a small following of volunteers and organizations, and now it averages 10,000 hits a month, Ms. Hillesland said.

"I would not have guessed that almost 10 years later that it would branch out so much, and now even includes a Facebook group," she said.

"The thing is, we never really advertised our Web site or anything. It's grown mostly through word of mouth. It's really grown in a grass-roots way."

Augusta's Choice, another locally created Web site, recently launched a section that lists more than 100 nonprofit organizations and social services in the area.

"There are so many different businesses and organizations in Augusta, but it can be hard to find information about them without also pulling information from everywhere else," said Kenny Adams, who created the site with his wife, Natasha, in June. "That's why we created Augusta's Choice. We wanted a place people could go that's all about the Augusta area. You won't find information from some other state or city mixed in."

The site originally began as a free business directory. On July 13 it expanded to include a directory of nonprofit organizations and social services.

"We're trying to look out for everyone," Mr. Adams said. "My wife and I moved to Augusta about two years ago, and we see this as a way to give back to the place we now call home."

Like VolunteerAugusta.com, Augusta's Choice has also found a following on Facebook.

"Our Facebook fan base is growing quickly. We already have a little over 300 fans on our Facebook page," he said. "We post a lot of information there and on the Web site."

VolunteerAugusta.com and Augusta's Choice are updated daily, and nonprofit organizations are listed free.

To view volunteer opportunities, find local nonprofits or include your nonprofit, visit www.volunteeraugusta.com or www.augustaschoice.com.

Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or nikasha.dicks@augustachronicle.com.

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LocalKid
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LocalKid 08/01/09 - 02:57 am
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Grovetown Jail Cover Up cost

Grovetown Jail Cover Up cost the town only female
officer her job.Two and 1/2 Year of sworned duty,she was
forced to resigned , the town knowing she is a single mom
and just purchased a townhouse, she was told to
resigned now and we won't black ball you !!! My question is
what is a black ball ??

JohnQPublic
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JohnQPublic 08/01/09 - 08:17 am
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"Forced to resign" usually

"Forced to resign" usually means either you cannot perform the job functions required or you may have done something that could cause you to be fired, or they just don't want you as an employee. "Blackballed" as defined by the "Free Dictionary" means Noun 1. blackball - the act of excluding someone by a negative vote or veto barring expulsion, riddance, ejection, exclusion - the act of forcing out someone or something; "the ejection of troublemakers by the police"; "the child's expulsion from school". In other words, if she resigns, they will not give a negative report to the next potential employer; they will not blackball her. Look in Wikipedia to see how the word originated.

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