To the editor:
The article citing a Gallup poll that Nevadans lag behind other Americans in charitable donations and volunteering doesn’t represent our experience at Opportunity Village (“Nevadans least likely to volunteer, donate to charity,” May 12 Review-Journal online). Volunteerism is very much alive and well in the Silver State, and certainly at Opportunity Village.
For 60 years, Opportunity Village has been on the receiving end of millions of volunteer hours. For example, our annual Magical Forest, which draws 100 volunteers every night for 60 nights. That’s 6,000 big-hearted, dedicated volunteers every season who stand in the cold and do an amazing job. This does not include the volunteer manpower to set up and take down the Magical Forest.
Our volunteers come from local corporations, senior communities, colleges and universities, Scout troops, restaurants, insurance companies, women’s groups, service clubs, the prison system and more. In a state that Gallup says doesn’t care, we at Opportunity Village are very successful in engaging the community.
Nevada nonprofits must prioritize community volunteerism. Opportunity Village spends countless hours meeting with individuals, organizations and corporations, asking for volunteers. You will never get an answer if you don’t ask. We always get a yes, and the payout is inestimable.
From where Opportunity Village sits, Nevada is No. 1 in the country for generous, caring volunteers and donors. The Gallup pollsters should stop by one of our campuses any day and see for themselves.
The writer is chief development officer and foundation associate executive director for Opportunity Village.