Volunteer Center Affiliates

Community Thread’s Volunteer Center helps connect volunteers to your organization and provides support to volunteer managers too!

As a Volunteer Center Affiliate, you receive a number of benefits to increase your reach throughout the community.

Volunteer Recruitment.

• Use Community Thread Connect – our online, searchable database – to post volunteer opportunities
• Include your volunteer opportunities in our monthly e-newsletter and as a Friday Feature on our social media platforms
• Receive volunteer referrals from Community Thread

Volunteer Management Support.

• Develop professional volunteer management skills through networking and education events
• Consult with Community Thread Volunteer Center staff on topics like designing group projects, working with youth volunteers and more
• Get access to templates for volunteer materials such as handbooks and job descriptions

Special Initiatives.

• Receive volunteer assistance to complete a one day service project at your site on the third Saturday in May
• Submit nominations for the Community Involvement Awards to recognize your outstanding volunteers
• Be the first to know when special projects or opportunities arise at Community Thread

Click here to see a full list of affiliate benefits.

Interested in becoming an Affiliate? Complete our Affiliate Registration Form

Questions? Contact Community Thread’s Volunteer Center at 651-439-7434.

Learn more about Community Thread’s Vi Russell Award recognizing volunteer managers by clicking below.

Vi Russell Award

Community Thread was founded in 1967 with a mission to meet community needs through coordinated volunteer resources.  In 1971, Vi Russell was appointed to be the first Executive Director of this organization, then called Community Volunteer Service of the St. Croix Valley.  During her 20 years, Vi acted as a statewide leader for volunteerism, a strong advocate for the Volunteer Center model of service delivery, and served as a local volunteer in many of her favorite organizations.  Vi retired in 1991 from her paid position with Community Thread and served as Board Member Emeritus on the Board of Directors until her passing in 2014.

In 1994,Vi worked with the Board of Directors to establish the Vi Russell Award for Excellence in Volunteer Leadership.  The Vi Russell Award for Excellence in Volunteer Leadership was established to honor extraordinary volunteer managers who have mobilized, inspired, and led volunteers to meet local needs through citizenry and service.  A volunteer manager can be paid or unpaid and typically has the job of recruiting, training, placing, encouraging and recognizing volunteers who provide needed support and service in the community.

The award is presented during the Community Thread Annual Meeting held in March each year. The Community Thread Board of Directors is pleased to provide an opportunity for an outstanding volunteer manager to be publicly acknowledged and congratulated for exemplary work in leading volunteers.

The Vi Russell Award for Excellence in Volunteer Leadership is given out based on the following criteria:

  • How well the volunteer program meets local needs
  • Demonstration of the nominee’s personal dedication to volunteers
  • Impact of volunteer achievements on the organization and in the community
  • Leadership in inspiration of volunteers
  • How well the nominee incorporates volunteer management practices into his or her work (volunteer management practices include: recruitment methods, orientation and training for new volunteers, recognition, retention of volunteers, evaluation of volunteer program, etc.)

 In 1994 the Vi Russell Award for Excellence in Volunteer Leadership was established to honor extraordinary volunteer managers who have mobilized, inspired, and led volunteers to meet local needs through citizenry and service. This year’s award winner is Dianne Vierling, the volunteer coordinator at Family Means. Click below to learn more about Dianne.

Chris Friederichs, 2019 Vi Russell Award for Excellence in Volunteer Leadership

Chris Friederichs

Vi Russel Award for Excellence in Volunteer Leadership

The Vi Russell Award was established to honor extraordinary volunteer managers in our community who meet local needs through their personal dedication and leadership. The person typically has the job of recruiting, training, placing, encouraging, and recognizing volunteers who provide service to organizations and the community. This year’s Vi Russell Award recipient, Chris Friederichs, is the Development Specialist and Volunteer Coordinator at EVOLVE Adoption and Family Services where she excels in mobilizing and inspiring volunteers.

Volunteering has been an important part of Chris’ life since she was a young girl. She volunteered in a group home for physically challenged young adults and St. Joseph’s Hospital in high school and went on to work with Special Olympics as a college student. She has continued to serve as a parent volunteer in the schools her children attended, as a Girl Scout leader and also in her church.

Chris started at EVOLVE intending to volunteer, but within a couple of months found herself in the position she holds today which has been a great fit for her volunteer background. She spends her days coordinating volunteer opportunities for office assistance, as well as for EVOLVE events and fundraisers. She also handles the volunteer time tracking and recognizes the volunteers who support EVOLVE with their time and talents.

Chris enjoys working with the volunteers at EVOLVE. She has learned to identify and differentiate between the requests, styles, and interests of people when they come in to volunteer. She works hard to find opportunities that fit their talents and skills, something that is very important in maintaining volunteer involvement and growth. Communicating well with volunteers helps them feel valued and it’s an important part of keeping EVOLVE running efficiently and effectively. This is one of the keys to her success according to Nancy Lyner, who nominated Chris for this award. “Chris knows the volunteer world well, and she is diligent and thorough in everything she does. She is a true asset to everything at EVOLVE. Whatever she does, she does well.”

Because volunteering has been such an important part of Chris’ life she is the first one to encourage others to give it a try. “Volunteering has many aspects to it. You can learn new things and meet new people. Volunteers find it makes them feel good giving back to the community.” She reminds aspiring volunteers there are a multitude of opportunities just waiting to be filled by people willing to give of their time and talents.

Chris Friederichs is a person dedicated to her job at EVOLVE. Thanks to her leadership, our community and the families living here are strengthened and supported by a network of devoted volunteers who care and work to make life better for those they serve. She truly embodies the spirit of the Vi Russell Award for Excellence in Volunteer Leadership.