Use JustServe Website or App to Find Service Opportunities Near You
Contributed By Chase C. Wheatley, LDS.org Church News staff writer
- JustServe helps you strengthen your community through service.
- Just type your location into JustServe.org or the JustServe app and see what service opportunities are available near you.
“JustServe is a tool that allows members and other service-minded individuals to easily identify projects where they can come together in improving the communities they call their home.” —Michael von Rosen, JustServe project team lead
JustServe.org—a free online clearinghouse that identifies nearby service opportunities—also has an app that makes volunteering as individuals, families, and Church groups easier than ever.
What is JustServe?
Simply put, JustServe helps people help each other.
The Church created JustServe.org in 2014 to connect volunteers with the needs of their community, as well as encourage collaboration with other service-minded people.
It added the JustServe app in 2015, which identifies volunteer opportunities on the go and links into your phone’s location services, calendar, and map apps.
Even though the website and app have been around for a few years, it’s taken time for JustServe to be populated with the variety and number of service opportunities that are there now.
According to the website, anyone in the U.S. and Canada can use the site to find opportunities to “relieve suffering, care for the poor and needy, and enhance the quality of life in the community.”
“JustServe is a tool that allows members and other service-minded individuals to easily identify projects where they can come together in improving the communities they call their home,” said Michael von Rosen, JustServe project team lead.
Dixie Larsen, JustServe coordinator for the Los Altos California Stake, said that “volunteers may find themselves serving again and again with neighbors they don't know but who become friends … through the volunteer experience, thus building stronger communities.”
Sponsoring organizations in need of volunteers can contact a JustServe representative in their area to register and post a service project for free on the JustServe.org website and app.
“JustServe has greatly improved our ability to recruit volunteers by giving us the opportunity to easily post out volunteer needs on JustServe.org,” said Lorna Koci, executive director of a community food pantry in Bountiful, Utah, who is quoted on JustServe.org. “It is only through the generosity of these volunteers that we are able to help those in need in our community.”
Who is JustServe for?
JustServe is for everyone—young and old, individuals and groups, members and nonmembers.
- A Relief Society or elders quorum president might use JustServe to see what service their organizations could provide for their community.
- Parents might find a good service opportunity for this week’s family home evening.
- Young single adults or youth might check to see how they could put their talents and free time to good use.
Larsen was especially enthusiastic about the impact JustServe can have on the youth. “JustServe has many kinds of activities, some of which are appropriate for families, where the teens can work with and take on adult roles,” she said. “They can also learn the meaning of hard work, sometimes dirty work, and learn that it won't break them.”
Many leaders have expressed excitement at the opportunities JustServe will create for full-time missionaries, she said. “The missionaries benefit from the humility it often takes to be of service to others—a lesson that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. And those who receive missionaries’ service will remember it forever.”
While JustServe activities are not intended for proselytizing, missionaries and members are encouraged to answer any questions those serving alongside them might have about the Church and the restored gospel.
Volunteers show up at the Mountain Bible Church in Tehachapi, California, to flatten out plastic bags, cut them into strips, and tie the strips into plarn (which is plastic yarn.) The plarn is then crocheted or knitted to a 3'x6' mat and provided to those in need in Kerne County.
How do I use JustServe?
Using the JustServe website and app is easy: simply enter a zip code, city, or state, and a list of service opportunities near that area will appear.
If you’re looking to address a particular need, or to make use of a particular talent, you can refine your search by the focus of the service and the skills required, as well as the date, distance, number of volunteers, and accessibility. Whether you’re looking to use your accounting knowledge or your sign language fluency, or want to aid refugees or the elderly, JustServe can connect you to the people who need your help.
JustServe is easy to use; users can enter a city, state, or zip code and see what service opportunities are available near them. These service opportunities are near Atlanta, Georgia. The results can also be filtered by skills, date, distance, number of volunteers, and accessibility.
JustServe success stories
Since its creation, JustServe has matched thousands of volunteers and organizations. For example, in Austin, Texas, six volunteers worked together to help wash and bundle carrots for a local food bank. In Durant, Oklahoma, five volunteers helped set up for a community rodeo. In Glendale, Arizona, a husband and wife used JustServe to connect with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization where they could mentor children.
Even children are excited about JustServe. In Seattle, Washington, 9-year-old Melody uses JustServe to find opportunities to help refugee families arriving in her city. In Rochester, New York, 7-year-old Caleb used JustServe to find a recurring service opportunity at a local homeless shelter: he and his family stop by once a month to serve cookies and spend time with the people there.
JustServe has also helped large-scale service activities succeed. In California in late April 2017, more than 1,150 volunteers joined together to assemble ready-to-cook meal packets. By the end of the two-day event, more than 300,000 meals were prepared and distributed to several local charities. (Read the full story.)
Just last month in Florida, more than 30 volunteers helped a single mother repair the foundation of her home, along with various other much-needed repairs. Through JustServe, members with construction know-how were able to find someone in need of their talents. (Read the full story.)
JustServe is easy to use; users can enter a city, state, or zip code and see what service opportunities are available near them. These service opportunities are near Lansing, Michigan. The results can also be filtered by skills, date, distance, number of volunteers, and accessibility.
Natalie asked if she could collect gifts for Dell Children’s Hospital to help other children feel happy. Her goal was to collect 100 items and deliver them the morning of her surgery. Natalie collected over 300 items from friends and neighbors to donate to the Child Life Department.
JustServe is easy to use; users can enter a city, state, or zip code and see what service opportunities are available near them. These service opportunities are near Seattle, Washington.The results can also be filtered by skills, date, distance, number of volunteers, and accessibility.