Verizon Skill Sharing Project – Laying the Groundwork for a Stronger National River Cleanup®
American Rivers has partnered with Verizon to execute a skill sharing project for the purpose of strengthening National River Cleanup®, American Rivers’ volunteer engagement program.
The National River Cleanup® (NRC) at American Rivers has supported more than one million volunteers to remove over 40 million pounds of litter across thousands of miles of rivers and streams. NRC works with companies to provide customized volunteer opportunities for their employees and communities, support a network of cleanup organizers, and engage individuals to collect litter and learn about the importance of our nation’s rivers.
Since this program was started over a decade ago, NRC has grown tremendously in size and scope which has led to the implementation of a more robust system to manage the program and make data-driven decisions to support continued growth and efficiency. One of the ways American Rivers is making this happen is through skill sharing projects, our most recent with volunteers from Verizon who have been a partner of American Rivers since 2020.
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What is Skill Sharing?
Skill sharing is the practice of leveraging individual talent and professional expertise in support of the infrastructure needs of community organizations in order to build capacity and create social change.
In the context of NRC, this includes identifying opportunities for streamlined data processes and enhanced technological capabilities. Over the course of seven weeks, a team of Verizon volunteers – comprised of Svetlana Boyd, Thaddeus (Tad) Huck, and Vidya Ranganathan – analyzed NRC’s data processes and drafted recommendations for improvements, suggestions for database management and tracking tools, and developed a scope of work for the future implementation phase to ensure the selected database system meets our usability, extensibility, data integrity, and performance requirements.
Volunteering for a Cause
In addition to offering their expertise and developing their own skills, the Verizon volunteers were inspired to participate in this project to support American Rivers’ mission of protecting wild rivers, restoring damaged rivers, and conserving clean water for people and nature. Svetlana felt inspired by a “commitment to keep what we need to survive clean.” Similarly, Vidya hoped to help American Rivers achieve our mission in a meaningful way, noting how passionate American Rivers is and how much work is being done to clean our rivers. As an avid kayak enthusiast who strongly believes in the power of volunteering, Tad was inspired to offer his time and skills to a cause he deeply cares about and was grateful for access to skill-sharing projects with Verizon Partners following Verizon’s recent emphasis on employee volunteering opportunities.
American Rivers is grateful to have had the opportunity to work with these dedicated Verizon volunteers. We are excited to implement the volunteer team’s suggestions and build a stronger NRC to increase our impact!