Grace Cavanaugh ~ Editor in Chief
On Oct. 12, a new local nonprofit, SHARE Greater Lynchburg was launched.
According to Bill Bodine, president of the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation, “SHARE Greater Lynchburg is a website developed originally in Charlotte and now in use there as well as Omaha, the Cape Fear area of North Carolina, and now here.”
Bodine continued, “It is a common site where virtually any nonprofit in our region, Lynchburg and the four surrounding counties, can have a page listing that shows what they do, who they impact, upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and a shopping cart that shows items they need where people can actually purchase needed items on Amazon and have them sent directly to the nonprofit. It is a single source for citizens to find help or opportunities that can be searched by category, such as food provision or education, for example. It also makes it easier for people to donate money if they choose.”
About how the nonprofit was brought to Lynchburg, Bodine commented, “A group of community leaders got together in early April to try to find ways to help the community get through COVID and to recover from the pandemic as best we can. We knew that the nonprofit segment was being hard hit and we found out about the SHARE website in Charlotte and decided to bring our own version to life here.”
Bodine credits Mady Piectrazak, an intern from the University of Lynchburg, with making SHARE Greater Lynchburg possible. “She has worked hard to make this a reality,” said Bodine. “Maddy worked closely with SHARE’s Executive Director, Megan Huffman, and me, a two time graduate of Lynchburg, so it is a nice example of the University’s continuing contributions to the community with an alum and current student working together to enhance our quality of life here.”
Piectrazak, a fifth year communications student, said, “I have always loved doing community service. Helping my community has always had a special place in my heart. When i was looking for an internship, I was more interested in working with people where I knew my assistance was really needed, so I really wanted to work with a nonprofit.”
She continued, “Because this website serves nonprofits in Lynchburg and the surrounding counties, a lot of the start up involved getting nonprofits interested and excited to sign up. With that, we had to find contacts for most of the nonprofits in the service area, which was a very long and tedious process. After, however, I was able to start drafting up graphics and social media ideas, which is what you can see on Facebook and Instagram now.”
According to Bodine, “[w]e have already partnered with 55 local nonprofits who now have listings on the site. We expect to end up with as many as a couple hundred eventually.”
Piectrazak said, “I think SHARE Greater Lynchburg has an exciting future. There are so many amazing nonprofits in our area that do great work, and with this resource, they are able to have a larger voice and reach a larger demographic of people that would like to help them. I think this resource is going to make Lynchburg and the surrounding counties a closer-knit community with the works of nonprofits and new volunteers [and] donors.”
The website is not only useful to nonprofits, however. Piectrazak specified, “This website can assist college students as well! You can search up types of nonprofits and who they serve, depending on what area you want to help, and there is an option to sign up and volunteer, which looks great on resumes and to future employers!”
She finished by saying, “I am very proud to be a part of such an exciting project, and I hope the community is just as excited for its presence.”
For more information, or to donate time, supplies or money, please find SHARE Greater Lynchburg’s website at https://sharegreaterlynchburg.org/, or visit their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ShareGreaterLynchburg/.