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Volunteers needed to help meet goal


When George Ashenmacher presented the virtues of volunteerism to a classroom of Harbor City International School students, he wasn’t expecting the response he got. Instead of one or two students coming forward ready to volunteer, an entire class did.

That enthusiasm inspired Ashenmacher. “If these students have pledged to volunteer a certain amount of hours, why can’t we all?”

Ashenmacher is an AmeriCorps member serving with the United Way of Greater Duluth’s Volunteer Center, a program that connects people with opportunities to serve. He has set a goal of 4,000 logged volunteer hours in 2012 — twice what was achieved in 2011. Learn more about Push for 4000. “Duluth already has a very civic-minded population, but I hear from our local nonprofits all the time that they still need more volunteers. What we are trying to do is remove a major barrier that keeps people from volunteering — namely, not knowing where they are needed and how they can help.”

That’s where the Volunteer Center website at can help. With more than 70 organizations posting their volunteer needs — and more joining each month — the website serves as a virtual meeting spot between volunteers and the local organizations that need them. After volunteering, people can log their hours on the website and contribute to the drive for 4,000.

Ashenmacher said, “By setting this goal I’m asking Duluthians to volunteer more, and by having more people track their hours on the website, we can get both the volunteers and the organizations that need them all on the same page.”

So far, Harbor City students and Wells Fargo’s local Volunteer Chapter have signed on to help the Volunteer Center meet its goal of 4,000 logged hours by Dec. 31. If you’d like to get started, either as a team or an individual, visit or call Ashenmacher at (218)

726-4780. Check back often to see progress on the goal.

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