OXFORD — Granville County residents who want to contribute their time and talents to serve the community have a new tool to guide them.

“Granville Gives” is a website to help residents find volunteer opportunities with county departments and projects.

“Many citizens within our community seek ways to ‘give back’ to their communities,” County Manager Mike Felts said. “By establishing effective volunteer programs, the county can offer opportunities to those citizens who wish to serve their community in a positive and worthwhile manner.”

County officials created “Granville Gives” to guide volunteers to agencies and projects whose needs match their talents and interests. Potential volunteers are asked to list their skills and abilities to help identify appropriate placement with agencies.

Volunteers can also scroll through a list of available opportunities and indicate their preferences for places to serve. Volunteer time can be logged in on the website to track hours of service.

Many county departments rely on volunteers to supplement the services of regular employees. Opportunities are also available to serve on county boards and committees.

“So many people didn’t know what opportunities there are,” but by going to the website, they can see the many opportunities available, county Public Information Officer Lynn Allred said.

On the website, they can create a profile of their abilities and interests — “kind of like a job application,” Allred said — to match them with agencies.

Granville County’s long-range strategic plan identified the need to improve and increase the number of volunteer opportunities within county government, Felts said.

But officials lacked a centralized method of managing volunteer programs and a system for tracking volunteer hours.

So county staff developed a volunteer policy, which was adopted in September 2019.

Volunteers have to agree to abide by the policy, which includes standards such as maintaining professional conduct, observing confidentiality of some information, adhering to safety precautions, observing the county’s drug-free policy and following rules of conduct and dress codes of departments in which they volunteer.

Volunteers under the age of 18 must have parental consent before volunteering.

By supplementing the work of the paid staff of the county, volunteers make a valuable contribution to the county, Felts said.