LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As businesses are raising wages as an incentive to work, Las Vegas nonprofits are having a hard time trying to get volunteers to work for free. Several charities across the valley are calling on the community for help.
“I’ve been in this business a long time,” said Jeffrey Weiss Chef and Owner of Valencian Gold. “I don’t think there’s anything in my career that is more impactful in my career than what I’ve done in the last year.”
Since Chef Weiss shut down his restaurant, due to the pandemic, he has cooked 60,000 meals to help those in need.
“It’s nice to build nice restaurants, but when the community needs your help, it falls upon us, always as chefs and restaurant owners first to say, ‘What can we do?’”
Chef Weiss partnered with Delivering with Dignity, a nonprofit organization bringing high-quality meals to the most vulnerable families and seniors in Southern Nevada.
“Even with the city reopening and people getting their vaccines, a lot of the people that we serve don’t have the privilege of getting vaccinated due to being immune-compromised or being in other situations,” said Ashlen Ramit, volunteer coordinator.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonprofit organizations are on track to return to pre-pandemic levels of employment, but positions all the way down to their volunteers aren’t filling up as fast.
Coordinators with the CASA program are feeling the same impact. the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program is asking for anyone who likes children to volunteer. CASAs are volunteers who have the best interest of a child who has been abused or neglected and is now in the foster care system.
“They’ve got someone who can be on their side; who can represent them and represent what they want, and have their voice heard,” said Rebecca Burton
Presiding Judge of Family Division. “Children don’t otherwise feel like they get their voice heard or feel like anybody cares what they have to say.
Even though nonprofits are looking for volunteers, some are offering incentives of their own. Delivering with Dignity is giving volunteers gas cards, Amazon cards and Visa cards.
- Volunteer with Delivering with Dignity.
- Volunteer with CASA.