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United Way volunteer program goes virtual

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United Way of the Ozarks' Give 5 volunteer program is going virtual this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual multiday program designed to connect retired or nearly retired baby boomers with volunteer opportunities is scheduled to take place Oct. 20, 22, 27 and 29 through a series of virtual tours at area nonprofits, according to a news release. The upcoming programming also plans to analyze the Springfield community and its civic engagement opportunities. Give 5 has graduated nearly 200 Greene County residents since its inception two years ago.

“It is our hope that Give 5: Virtual Edition will provide an opportunity for retired and retiring baby boomers age 60 or better to reconnect and reignite," said Greg Burris, Give 5 co-founder and the local United Way’s president and CEO, in the release, noting the program benefits "the participants, the nonprofits where they volunteer and our entire community.”

Presented by UnitedHealthcare and funded by the Greene County Senior Citizens’ Fund, Give 5 places a focus on causes impacting poverty. The organization's most recent alumni survey found 86% of Give 5 graduates continue to be involved civically after completing the program.

Burris said via email 10 participants have signed up so far, with a capacity for 20 during the virtual session this month. Applications are accepted on Give 5’s website.

Give 5 started as a program within the city of Springfield before transitioning to United Way in 2018. The following year, former City Manager Burris took on the United Way CEO position in addition to his Give 5 leadership role.

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