News Release

JustServe Celebrates 11th Anniversary

The free community service platform connects volunteers with service opportunities

JustServe.org, the online volunteer portal, is celebrating its 11th anniversary. The platform’s website and app provide a free space for community organizations to post their service needs and give volunteers a centralized listing of local service opportunities.

JustServe.org was created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which covers its financial costs, as a gift to the world. September 8 marks 11 years since the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church approved its formation.

Since the portal’s beginning, more than 660,000 volunteers have registered for more than 130,000 projects, according to “Caring for Those in Need,” the 2021 Annual Report of The Church of Jesus Christ. More than 13,500 nonprofit, government, religious and community organizations use the platform.

JustServe.org was first launched in February 2012 in Silicon Valley, California, and has since expanded to 13* countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain and the United Kingdom. This year, France was added to the list, and Chile will come online in October.

JustServe.org has an Advisory Council comprising leaders from many charitable organizations and enterprises that focus on volunteer service.

“The great thing about JustServe is how flexible it is, and anything can be posted on there as long as it’s important to the community,” said Sharon Eubank, director of Humanitarian Services for the Church of Jesus Christ. “When I tell people about JustServe I always say there are three aspects to it. Anybody can use it. It’s free. And it’s global.”

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How JustServe Is Helping Children in England

Dozens of children in an underserved community have a newfound sense of belonging thanks to a youth club in Leeds, England. The club is run by volunteers and a local Latter-day Saint congregation. They connected through JustServe.

Four years ago, parents Robert and Sam Esterine recognized a need for children in their neighborhood to have a safe place to gather. Many children lived in impoverished homes and were at risk of bullying and gang violence.

“We found that a lot of the young people [and] families were suffering through neglect — food neglect — and not having anywhere to go,” Robert said.

The Esterines envisioned a place where kids could participate in wholesome activities and build a sense of belonging with their peers. They created the Hawksworth Community Youth Club.

Through JustServe.org, the couple connected with members of the local Latter-day Saint congregation, who opened their meetinghouse for the youth club to gather.

“In the time we’ve been working together with the youth club, we’ve had nothing but love, support and kindness,” said Sam.

In the beginning, Robert said parents and children were reluctant to attend a youth club held at a church building.

“At first it was absolute shock. Everybody said it wouldn’t work. The parents [said] ‘Our kids aren’t going to go to the Church of the Latter-Day Saints,’” he said.

Some congregation members were also uncertain the experiment would work, according to James M. Whitehead. He is the regional leader (stake president) of several Latter-day Saint congregations in the area. “When I was a young boy in this area, I visited this building several times and it was a scary experience. You wouldn’t want to leave your car [parked outside]. My car itself has been stolen in this community and been joyridden,” he said.

Convinced the youth club could help the children, Sam and Robert rallied parents in the community.

“We went out and campaigned in the community and said, ‘We’re welcome, you’re welcome. We’re all brothers and sisters. Let’s all work together. Come along, try before you buy!’” Sam said. “All the kids have now come, and the parents are overjoyed. They’re happy to see the kids are settled, they’re communicating better, less frustrated. They know their kids are safe. They’re not at risk in the community of being bullied or being preyed upon by drug dealers and people in the community that would use them for unlawful acts.”

“[We ask] each young person that comes here, ‘Did you have a good time?’ And every single one of them say ‘yes,’ and they go and tell another person, and then they come,” Robert said.

Volunteers coordinate learning activities and games and prepare healthy snacks donated by community members and parents. Older children lead in a buddy system to mentor new participants and their younger peers.

“They learn manners, morals, respect. There is a code that they have to adhere to, and they have to build a friendship,” Sam said.

Club volunteers said some 160 children attend every week, and there is a growing waiting list with an additional 150 children. (Club gatherings were suspended for 18 months during the pandemic.)

“This isn’t about the children anymore. Leeds’ community program is about the parents as well — they’re getting involved,” said Bernard Clarke, a local Latter-day Saint leader.

How It Works:

JustServe.org provides a centralized listing of volunteer opportunities in a community.

Nonprofit, community, faith-based and government organizations can register and post listings with their specific volunteer needs.

After registering, volunteers can find and sign up for opportunities based on location and desired distance.

To learn more, visit JustServe.org.

* This story was updated on September 14 to include Portugal. 

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