Issue:  Vol. 44 / No. 38 / 18 September 2014
 

Shanti recognized for volunteer program

Shanti, a San Francisco nonprofit that provides support to people living with AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses, is being recognized for its “outstanding volunteer program” by CaliforniaVolunteers, the state office that encourages people to volunteer.

The nonprofit has been named a Service Enterprise by CaliforniaVolunteers, making it one of the first U.S. nonprofits to be certified as such.

“To be recognized at the forefront of the Service Enterprise movement, with this elite group of organizations, is an honor and validates the services our volunteers have been providing, and the work we’ve been executing,” Shanti Executive Director Kaushik Roy said in a news release. A Shanti volunteer often represents their sole source of support – the difference between having one compassionate advocate by their side, or no one at all.” Roy said his group has trained over 15,000 people and more than 600 organizations worldwide.

According to Shanti, it scored the highest of the 18 nonprofits assessed in the Bay Area. Shanti’s volunteer time is valued at $25.84 per hour, and the total services provided to the community are valued at $361,760 during the 2012-13 fiscal year. CaliforniaVolunteers recognizes groups that “fundamentally leverage volunteers and their skills across all levels of the organization to deliver on a social mission,” according to Shanti. The other nonprofits assessed included Project Open Hand,which provides meals to people living with AIDS and other illnesses, Larkin Street Youth Services, and Meals on Wheels SF.

Shanti works to enhance its clients’ quality of life, health, and well-being by providing practical and emotional support to more than 1,800 people a year. There are 250 volunteers who served over 14,000 hours throughout the most rent fiscal year.

Jill Blackburn, director of programs at the Volunteer Center, stated, “The CaliforniaVolunteers Service Enterprise Initiative diagnostic, delivered to over 80 organizations in California so far,” provides her office a chance to highlight groups like Shanti “that are already operating a close-to-optimal volunteer practice.”

Shanti will be holding the first peer support training of 2014 January 24 to 26, and the evening of January 29. Specific times weren’t available.

Those interested “are matched one-on-one with a client for whom they will provide weekly companionship, a non-judgmental ear, and light practical assistance,” and they’ll join “a community of thoughtful, supportive volunteers and staff,” Roy said in an email.

For more information, email volunteerservices@shanti.org or call (415) 674-4708.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, December 18, 2013 @ 10:32 am PST
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