Archived Story

Volunteer Center: Help youth grow in 4-H

Published 8:19pm Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In cooperation with the Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan, we are pleased to publish opportunities for volunteers each week. To find out about these or other volunteer opportunities, please call 983-0912 in the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor area, 683-5464 in the Niles area; visit our website at; or email us at for further information. To arrange an appointment, please call ahead. Appointments do not constitute an obligation to accept a volunteer opportunity. The center is a United Way agency affiliated with the HandsOn Network.

Spotlight of the Week

Arts everywhere! You don’t even have to be an artist to support the arts. Southwest Michigan has many arts organizations and projects such as youth programs and even hospice programs that allow the arts to flourish and enrich our lives. Visit or email to connect to your volunteer masterpiece.


• 4-H utilizes volunteers like you to offer a wide range of personal development experiences.  Members range in age from 5 to 19. Five- to 8-year-old programming is activity-based, cooperative, fun and experiential. It allows youth members a variety of learning opportunities with a non-competitive focus.

The combined efforts of parents, leaders, MSU staff and community volunteers are needed to provide opportunities for youth to learn, grow and have fun.

• United Way of Southwest Michigan is gearing up for Girls on the Run 2012! There are many ways you can get involved over the next three months in this wonderful program that gets girls moving and encourages a healthy body image. One way is to work with United Way staff as a volunteer coordinator.

In this position you will monitor all volunteer opportunities to ensure they are adequately staffed, ensure proper volunteer paperwork is completed, confirm with volunteers the date/time/location/dress, etc. of each opportunity and handle thank yous. This opportunity is approximately two to five hours per week. There are many other opportunities available to fit any schedule so why not check them out?


• Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan has a weekly volunteer opportunity that you can do at a time convenient to you. One four-hour commitment is requested to visit hospice clients in area nursing facilities.

• If you enjoy meeting and socializing with new people Michigan Blood has an exciting opportunity for you. Michigan Blood is accepting new volunteers all year long to assist with blood drives. Drives are held at various times and locations so there are volunteer shifts to meet anyone’s schedule. Most volunteers assist in the post-donation station. Who doesn’t love the volunteer who gives them cookies?

• Tax season is upon us! You can help low-income working families access their benefits even if you don’t know anything about taxes. Curious? Contact Debra at the Volunteer Center to learn more.

• Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Watervliet enriches the mind, body and spirit of people with special needs through horse-related activities. They are offering volunteer training/orientation for new volunteers Feb. 11.  You will have the opportunity to learn more about TEC, get an overview of volunteer opportunities at TEC, see TEC’s facility and have all your questions answered.

• The American Red Cross stands ready to serve in time of a disaster. Are you ready to serve? How often do you question your preparedness? We have a nuclear power plant in our backyard. Tornadoes, floods, ice storms and earthquakes are all potential natural disasters.  The American Red Cross is working on being prepared and is looking for volunteers to increase their level of preparedness. Please join them for Disaster Services Overview training — a course where you will learn about what the Red Cross’s role is in your community and about the volunteer opportunities available to you.

• Save a life – donate blood!

Berrien County Chapter of the American Red Cross

• Monday, Feb. 13 — Midway Baptist, 7517 Red Arrow Highway, Watervliet, noon to 5:45 p.m.

• Tuesday, Feb. 14 — St. Mark Catholic Church, 3 N. 19th St., Niles, noon to 5:45 p.m.

For a complete listing and to schedule an appointment visit

Michigan Blood

• Tuesday, Feb. 14 — Lake Michigan College Room 141, 125 Veterans Drive, South Haven, noon to 5 p.m.

• Thursday, Feb. 16 — Midwest Energy Cooperative, Downstairs Conference Room, 901 E. State St., Cassopolis, 9:30 a.m.  to 3:30 p.m.

For a complete listing visit

Youth and adults

• Activity aides at Gateway help people with disabilities socialize and engage in planned activities.

Volunteers at Berrien RESA’s Blossomland Learning Center work with a younger group also assisting with activities. So hang out, help out and have a good time.

• Are you someone who cares about your community or neighborhood?  Do you believe that youth in trouble for the first time can positively redirect their lives if given the chance and some guidance? Do you believe that victims should be able to speak and be heard with respect? If you want to become involved with helping juveniles, victims and all of our communities in Berrien County become whole again join the Berrien County Trial Court Community Restorative Board. Youth volunteers welcome.

You will volunteer for cases as they arise in your community.

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