Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Synergy Fund helps volunteers, nonprofits

Monday, April 30, 2018 by The Press in Local News

Nonprofits here in our community serve thousands of people every day and the leaders, staff and volunteers with those organizations do it because they care about their community.

At the Volunteer Center we serve as a resource to over 400 nonprofits annually connecting them with volunteers, businesses and providing educational resources for their staff and volunteers. Our goal as the go-to resource for these nonprofits is to continuously identify needs and means to leverage their time and resources.

To that end, the Volunteer Center has been working with Trish Dilg, President and Founder of Donate.Local.Simple. Donate.Local.Simple was founded based on the needs of the nonprofits to for the collection of goods necessary to operate their nonprofits and serve their community. Their primary mission was to help nonprofits identify specific needs and to put those needs out for individuals and businesses to consider donating. The need for this service is significant and based on the Volunteer Center’s platform it is a logical service offering to be incorporated in to the services provided.

The Volunteer Center and Donate.Local.Simple, with the help of the Lehigh Valley Synergy Fund have come together to expand the programming previously managed by Donate.Local.Simple. The Lehigh Valley Synergy Fund is a jointly managed project by the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation and the United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley in order to support nonprofit affiliations and structured partnerships in Lehigh and Northampton Counties. Because of this funding we are able to create a sustainable program for managing nonprofit Wish Lists.

On April 12 the Volunteer Center launched a Wish List feature on our website at This feature will be self-managed by the nonprofits and will be promoted throughout the community continuing to connect our community for the greater good. “The opportunity to work with Trish in building out this capacity for the Volunteer Center to expand our services to the nonprofits is a perfect alignment”, said Karen Smith, CEO for the Volunteer Center. Information on the Synergy Fund can be found on their website or at this link directly:

Simultaneously with the launch of the Wish List feature for the Volunteer Center, Trish Dilg and her team of staff and board will be launching a new venture called Paper Box Home. The mission of Paper Box Home is to facilitate positive and successful transitions for individuals and families moving into and out of Lehigh Valley homeless shelters by matching volunteers to move-in projects. We guide these individuals, families, groups and businesses through the process of collecting needed items and preparing a warm and welcoming new home for their assigned individual or family.

Trish Dilg commented about the transition and the simultaneous launching of the new venture by saying, “Donate.Local.Simple was created based on a need identified and through this organization we have been able to work with and help grow so many of the nonprofits here in our community doing such amazing work. I am excited to work with the shelters and homes to continue to help make a difference”.

The Volunteer Center and Paper Box Home will continue to collaborate on being a resource in our community and are excited to see the expansion of the Wish List and the growth of the newly formed venture, Paper Box Home at