by Karen Abeyasekere
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
8/12/2015 - RAF MILDENHALL, England -- Team
Mildenhall is now using a new website set to bring a whole host of
opportunities for those looking to volunteer, which opens an
ever-growing pool of potential volunteers for organizations looking for
Myairforcevolunteer.com has been up and running at RAF Mildenhall since
early July 2015 and currently 66 people have registered. U.S. Air Forces
in Europe and Air Forces in Africa has been selected as a pilot program
to test the site.
Created by a retired military member who was assigned to the Airman and
Family Readiness Center on Aviano Air Base, Italy, the website is a way
to consolidate all volunteer opportunities into one place.
"It means people can go to just one place to see what's going on and
what volunteer opportunities are available," said Kelli Hardin, 100th
Force Support Squadron community readiness specialist from Santa Clara,
California. "We want to get private organizations on board with this,
along with any other groups on base that have volunteer opportunities at
any time, such as Joan Mann Special Sports Day and the bazaars."
During her visit to RAF Mildenhall Aug. 5, 2015, Sharon Gorenc, spouse
of Gen. Frank Gorenc, USAFE-AFAFRICA commander, stated both her husband
and Gen. Mark Welsh III, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, amongst
others, have great praise for the website, as do spouses.
It's very easy to sign up, and participants can register either as a
volunteer or organization. Registering can be done either via social
media, from which only basic information shown on a public profile is
used, or by entering details such as name and e-mail. Once logged on,
the site disengages itself from the person's social media page.
"Once you've registered, it takes you straight to the 'landing page,'"
said Hardin. "The site is available to all base ID cardholders and is
very user-friendly. As well as listing volunteer opportunities available
on base, it can be used to log volunteer hours which can in turn be
used for (enlisted performance reports) and award packages.
"Additionally, when squadrons or private organizations find volunteer
opportunities available off-base, these can also be listed. It makes it
so much easier as you already have a pool of potential volunteers ready
and waiting," she said. "It's also a great way to reach spouses who may
not usually get base-wide e-mails, and their military member may not
always share the information with them. It gives them options to find
out about volunteer positions."
Hardin explained that when different agencies and private organizations
register on the site, individuals who are registered can then follow
them to get notifications when any opportunities arise. Also, groups can
either be open to everyone registered, or closed so they are just
available to their particular squadron members, for example when help is
needed for a squadron event of some kind which might not be relevant to
anyone outside that squadron.
"Another great thing with this is you can add it to the home screen of
your phone, so it acts as an app," the community readiness specialist
continued. "That way, you can check it wherever you are, regardless of
whether you have access to your e-mail or not, and still find out about
upcoming volunteer positions."
One agency already registered and advertising available opportunities is the American Red Cross on RAF Mildenhall.
"Myairforcevolunteer.com is an effective tool designed to help promote
not only Red Cross volunteer opportunities, but other helping agencies
in our area," said Regan Jefferson, American Red Cross regional program
specialist from Hartford, Connecticut. "As a volunteer, your time and
dedication is invaluable. This site makes it possible for your efforts
to be recognized and accounted for."
For more information, call the Airman and Family Readiness Center at DSN
238-3406, or commercial, 01638-543406. Alternatively, register on the
site at www.myairforcevolunteer.com.