Website aims to link PACAF volunteers with opportunities
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --
Pacific Air Forces members looking for volunteer opportunities and organizations looking for volunteers have a new resource available, all at the click of a button, with a website that’s gaining recognition and users across the Air Force.
The resource is www.myairforcevolunteer.com. It’s an online tool designed to assist volunteers with logging volunteer hours, and enhance collaboration between volunteers and organizations seeking volunteers.
Retired Maj. Gen. David Robinson, husband of PACAF Commander Gen. Lori J. Robinson, is helping to lead the website’s integration into volunteer programs throughout PACAF.
“Headquarters PACAF has recently rewritten the operating instruction for the Volunteer Awards Program; the website is a fantastic tool to help reward our volunteers who provide such great support to our organizations,” Robinson said.
The website was created and developed by Air Force members and spouses at Aviano Air Base, Italy, after they noticed a need to improve the way they managed their volunteer program.
“The idea of the website started with a need,” said Shon Wagner, the creator and designer of the website. “The senior leader’s spouse at Aviano felt compelled to improve the way we managed our volunteer program. She worked closely with our volunteer program coordinator and volunteers to find a better way.”
Wagner, a retired senior master sergeant of 23 years, was working at Aviano’s Airman and Family Readiness Center when the website was launched there January 2014.
The website has a simple interface that is easy to use and allows quick access for its users. First-time users are prompted to register either as a volunteer or an organization. Based on their installation location, they’ll have access to all volunteer opportunities available to them through organizations that are registered with the site. Volunteers can also follow organizations that they’re interested in to be informed of any future opportunities.
Wagner said the website is designed to be easy to use and easily accessible.
“[Volunteers] shouldn't have to deal with a frustrating process to get involved,” Wagner explained. “The process should be simple, streamlined, and standardized. I wanted to make sure organizations, volunteers, program managers and leaders all had a say and received the functionality they desired.”
The website is mobile-friendly, allowing users to log on to their account and seamlessly move about the website at all times on a mobile device.
The website also has the ability to log volunteer hours so users can quantify their efforts and utilize that information for enlisted performance reports or awards packages. Further, those volunteer hours can be used for recognition through other volunteer programs.
“[The website] supports the PACAF Volunteer Awards program and allows our Volunteer Service Coordinator to certify volunteer hours and upload those hours to the Presidential Volunteer Service Award website to receive awards from that Program,” Robinson said.
Wagner has created several resources for users to submit feedback so he can make improvements where needed or add features that can further improve the website.
“As with many technologies, they are only as good as what the end-user feels,” Wagner said. “This is why I appreciate suggestions from end-users. I have created a Facebook page, /myairforcevolunteer, for users to post their suggestions. I have also included a contact form within the website for technical support or feedback. Many suggestions have come in, and I hope to introduce some very modern and advanced enhancements to the website soon.”
For more information and to sign up, visit www.myairforcevolunteer.com.