Volunteer Services Agency, Inc., a United Way Agency, is the local resource for volunteer recruitment, placement and management for people of all ages and abilities in the Mahoning Valley. Helping Hands is a monthly column that serves to communicate the impact that volunteering can have on our community. To express interest in one of the opportunities below, contact VSA at (330) 782-5877, or visit www.volunteerservicesagency.org. and click on the blue button for 1-800-Volunteer.org.
National Volunteer Week (April 26 – May 3): National Volunteer Week reflects the power that volunteers have to “inspire by example.” Find out how you, too, can participate in the week’s many offerings by calling Volunteer Services Agency, Inc. or logging on to the agency’s Web site listed above. This year’s theme is “Volunteer to Change the World.”
Global Youth Service Day (April 25-27): Millions of youth participate in Global Youth Service Day, the largest service event in the world. They tutor young children, engage in disaster relief, register new voters, educate their communities about good nutrition, distribute HIV/AIDs prevention materials and meet many more community needs through their service. Locally, efforts are being planned by the Youngstown/Mahoning Valley United Way on April 26. If you would like to participate in a day of service, contact Corrie Adams at VSA.
All Community Volunteer Recognition (April 28): A community celebration to recognize and honor outstanding individuals and groups for their dedication to changing the world through volunteerism. For details, contact VSA.
Rich Center for Autism: On July 26, 120 volunteers are needed to “Give Autism the Boot.” Help man collection “boots” or pails at this communitywide event. This would be a great opportunity for families or service groups. Shifts will be two hours long or longer if you choose.
Salvation Army Kettle Drive: It’s not too early to start thinking about ringing bells during the holidays. Teams, individuals and families are needed to fill more than 1,000 shifts from Thanksgiving until Christmas.
Hunger relief agencies and nutrition services: Soaring food and gas prices are helping to drive the demand for hunger relief services across the nation. Here in our Valley you can help feed hungry and malnourished families by volunteering with a food bank, congregate meal site, or meal delivery program. Volunteer once a week or once a month in the role that you choose. Some of the ways you can help include delivering meals, sorting and packing food boxes, packing backpacks for elementary pupils, coordinating food or donation drives, preparing bulk mailings, educating the public, clerical help, or advocacy. If you are 55 or older and looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity, contact Corrie Adams at (330) 782-5877.
Bridge the Generation Gap: May 3 is Join Hands Day, a national day of service with the mission of bringing together youth and adults to share leadership roles and work collaboratively on community projects. Fraternal organizations, service and civic groups, congregations and families are encouraged to open the lines of communication between youth and adults by developing intergenerational projects to be completed that day. Contact VSA for more information.
Valley Counseling Service: Do you have a few hours to assist a local organization with basic filing, copying and mailing? Valley Counseling needs your help on an as-needed basis.
Americorps VISTA Volunteer: Committed citizens, recent college graduates and retirees are encouraged to help others help themselves, gain real-world experience, build your r sum , or pay for college by becoming a VISTA volunteer. You can strengthen and expand disaster preparedness and response capabilities — focusing on low-income and special-needs populations — through Ohio Citizen Corps. Benefits include living allowance, health insurance, education award to apply to tuition or student loans, relocation allowance and child-care benefits.
VFW Post 9571: Assist in providing military honors for deceased veterans of all branches of the military at funerals.
Easter Seals Adult Day Care-Trumbull, Antonine Sisters Adult Day Care, Senior Independence Adult Day Care: Do you like to help older adults? These adult day-care centers need compassionate and friendly volunteer help with activities, crafts, current events and at meal time.
Safe Kids Coalition: The Safe Kids Coalition needs dedicated people to assist with educational outreach and other hands-on opportunities throughout the year. A great opportunity for moms, dads and grandparents to assist others with leaning how to keep children safe.
Habitat for Humanity: Help Habitat assist local families with securing the American dream of home ownership. It takes a multitude of people to lend their expertise and time in the following opportunities: Assist Habitat in encouraging environmental stewardship by picking up donated furniture and other items and transporting them to our Reuse Store in Struthers; assist with the Habitat Re-Store customer service and merchandise maintenance; office volunteers are responsible for scheduling volunteers and coordinating their shifts; warehouse workers help to load/unload Re-Store donations, cleans and sorts donated merchandise and moves items to the sales floor, places appropriate price tags on items, and assists customers in moving purchased items to their vehicles.