Website Offers Service Opportunities by Debbi Weitzell

Many people are looking for ways to serve in their communities. There is an easy way to do that: a free website that helps volunteers and service organizations find each other.  It’s called, and it was designed to be a tool to help local people meet the needs of other local people. Here’s how it works:

  1. Nonprofits and service organizations submit projects with which they need help.
  1. Interested volunteers sign up as individuals, families, or larger groups and find projects that meet their interests, their skills, and their time-frames.

There are currently over 100 projects on the site for Tucson and Sahuarita, and more than 60 in the Gila Valley. As word of this tool gets out, new projects are being added regularly.

Not only does participation in community service offer much-needed help to neighbors, people who have participated have noticed how much they gain personally from the act of giving.

Carol Langford of Tucson’s east side worked recently with a group of refugees from Somalia, Sudan, and Iraq. An elderly woman had offered them the harvest from her grapefruit trees. “It was such a happy occasion for all of us!” Carol said. “The volunteer coordinator cut open a couple of grapefruits for all to taste. Some of the refugees had never tasted the fruit! Some just smiled and laughed, others shared a surprised look, then laughed.”  The group was delighted by the experience and very grateful for the fresh food.

Projects listed on JustServe should be focused on assistance to the poor and those in need of a helping hand, as well as opportunities that can enhance the quality of life in the community. They should not directly involve fundraising, have a political focus, or be profit oriented.

Fatima had her first experience picking grapefruit through a JustServe project.
Photo by Carol Langford. Used with permission.


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