If not you, then who? Over 50 non-profits making a difference in Brown County

Making a Difference at the Brown County Volunteer Center (WLUK)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- The Volunteer Center of Brown County hosted its first community wide volunteer expo Tuesday at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay.

More than 50 non-profit organizations were represented.

Eric Sponholtz, executive director of the Volunteer Center, says Wisconsin is ranked third in the nation when it comes to volunteering, and northeast Wisconsin is one of the best represented areas of the state.

Jared Boon moved to the area a month ago after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Tuesday afternoon he made the rounds at a number of non-profits who were looking for volunteers.

“I’ve always been lucky to be in somewhat of a privileged position and I always think it’s important to use that for someone else’s benefit,” Boon said.

The Volunteer Center of Brown County works with 180 non-profit organizations.

Sponholtz says he knows some people who have been volunteering for decades.

“It’s really cool to see people who’ve been volunteering 20, 25, 30 years and giving countless hours and how they can really pass that down to their family, their friends, that type of thing, it’s really a neat thing to see in the community," says Sponholtz.

Boon’s philosophy is simple:

If not you, then who?

“If you don’t volunteer, action won’t happen. That’s why you kind of need to have people who believe in these humanitarian efforts to get out there and work for people who may not be getting what they need in life,” Boon explained.

And if you’ve never volunteered before and aren’t sure where you’d be a good fit, the Volunteer Center can help.

“In our work with the volunteer center we’re able to connect people to these organizations, especially if they have a specific passion. Something that they really want to see succeed and we can put them in the right position to be able to do that,” said Sponholtz.

Going in, organizers weren't sure how many non-profits would want to be part of this first volunteer expo.

It turns out, there were so many, 10 had to be put on the waiting list.

Next year, they're upping the total to 75.

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