What is Get Connected?


Get Connected is a self-service volunteer portal operated by United Way of Olmsted County. Here, community members can browse current volunteer opportunities from our local nonprofit partners. Make a free Get Connected profile to get started!

FAQ Guide for Community Volunteers
Register as a volunteer on Get Connected!

Watch the How-To Video: Learn how to create a free profile on Get Connected in 5 easy steps!

  • Step 1: Create an account.
  • Step 2: Select causes that you're passionate about (e.g. education, income, housing, disaster response, etc.)
  • Step 3: Select interests (specific skills or talents) that you bring as a volunteer (e.g. marketing, technology, education, physical labor, etc.)
  • Step 4: Find agencies that match your interests (e.g. Cradle 2 Career, Salvation Army, Family Service Rochester, etc.)
  • Step 5: You're registered! Now you can edit your profile, find current volunteer needs, and sign up for a specific need by clicking "register". 

Finding Volunteer Opportunities: Ready to start volunteering? This article explains how Get Connected offers several easy ways to find the right volunteer opportunities for you! You may search by keyword, sort by date added, or filter by various criteria such as date, interest, and virtual need.

The Volunteer Dashboard: This article explains the volunteer dashboard or "home page". Here, you can do things such as track your volunteer hours, view suggested needs, and update your basic personal information.

Managing Your Volunteer Profile: Learn how to update your preferred causes, interests or skills, and fanned agencies on your volunteer profile! 

Team-Friendly Volunteer Opportunities: Looking to volunteer with your friends, family, colleagues, or other group? Learn how to participate in volunteer activities as a team on Get Connected! United Way of Olmsted County also helps coordinate one-time or ongoing volunteer opportunities through our corporate engagement program.


FAQ Guide for Nonprofit Organizations
Register your nonprofit organization on Get Connected!

Your Agency or Program's Profile Page: It's important to have an updated agency profile so that interested volunteers can learn about your mission and register for current volunteer needs! You will need to add basic information including your nonprofit organization's EIN, logo, and agency manager's contact information.

Full Get Connected Agency Training Video: Get Connected is an excellent tool for volunteer recruitment. This training walks you through the ins and outs of registering your agency, managing your agency profile, and adding volunteer needs.

Frequently Asked Questions: Agency Managers: Still have questions about getting your nonprofit on Get Connected? Check out the complete FAQs for Agency Managers. 

What is Varsity Letter in Community Service?

Through the Varsity Letter in Community Service (VLCS) program, United Way of Olmsted County partners with Olmsted County high schools to recognize and reward students for their volunteer efforts in the community. High school students who volunteer 100 hours in one year can earn their school varsity letter, the same as those earned in academics, arts, athletics, etc. With 52 weeks in a year, that is equivalent to about 2 hours per week.


Congratulations to our past Varsity Letter in Community Service Recipients! 


In 2019, we showcased our high school leaders through a 3.5 minute recognition video!

In 2020, our high school leaders participated on an interview panel via Instagram Live!

Stewartville High School Pepfest 2021 recognition!

How to Apply
  1. Print or download the current application
  2. If you're new to VLCS, email Vangie so they knows you're interested!
  3. Each time you volunteer, either take a photo OR get your volunteer supervisor to sign a piece of organization letterhead.
  4. For each volunteer site, verify hours and complete reflection questions.
  5. Turn in application to United Way of Olmsted County by March 1, 2023.

Application Materials

All supplemental materials including Requirements & Guidelines, Service Log Sheets, Checklists and Verification Forms are included in application form. 

Important Dates 2022-23

  • Hours are for eligible volunteer work from March 1, 2022 - February 28, 2023.
  • Application deadline is on or before March 1, 2023.
  • You may email, mail, or hand deliver your application to our office at: United Way of Olmsted County, 903 West Center Street, Suite 100, Rochester, MN 55902, Attn: Vangie Castro.

What to Expect After You Apply

  • United Way of Olmsted County will notify you that we have received your application by email on or before March 6, 2023.
  • United Way of Olmsted County will notify you by April 1, 2023 if you are receiving this award.
  • A student who qualifies for the Varsity Letter in Community Service, will receive a certificate and a community service varsity letter patch if he/she is a first, second, third or fourth year earning the award. These are currently free of charge.
Contact Us

United Way of Olmsted County

Vangie Castro, Impact Program Assistant
vangiec@uwolmsted.org, 507-535-5509

United Way of Olmsted County
Attn: Varsity Letter in Community Service
903 West Center Street, Suite 100
Rochester, MN 55902

Stewartville High School

Joyce Stacey, United Way Volunteer and Former Educator

Where to Volunteer

United Way's mission is to unite people and resources to improve people's lives in our community. We fight for the education, health, and financial stability of every individual, and encourage students to primarily serve in those three impact areas. We also recognize that students are already involved in community service clubs and initiatives through their high schools. To encourage a balance in activities, students must perform at least one school-related activity and serve at least 40 hours of non-school related volunteering such as supporting a local nonprofit (501c3) or civic service agency.