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Volunteer Southwest Michigan: Drive patients, visitors in golf cart

Published 9:56pm Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Spotlight of the week

• Do you like driving golf carts?  Courtesy cart drivers for Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph provide transportation for visitors and patients between the parking lot and the building. Volunteers should have experience in meeting and greeting the public and have a valid Michigan driver’s license and at least one year’s driving experience.


• Be part of the mail team at the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center in St. Joseph and keep the community updated on what is going on.  Commitment varies – the mailing team leader will contact you when needed.

• Afterschool Rocks! at Berrien Springs High School provides all students with extended-day opportunities to grow academically, socially and emotionally. The room monitor’s duties will include check in/check out procedures, doorway supervision, moving throughout the study/work area and making sure students have academic help. Volunteers should be comfortable talking with teens, willing to play board games and chat companionably.

• Consider serving in a leadership role in a local nonprofit by volunteering as a board member?  If concerned about helping aging people stay in their home and making sure they have good nutrition,  Senior Nutrition’s board would like to interview you as potential board member.  No commitment needed to contact the board and find out more about it.  Fundraisers and drivers are also needed.

American Red Cross of West Michigan

The Red Cross reports that if they had just three extra donors at each blood drive it would stabilize the blood supply.

• Noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday: Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, 4071 Naomi Road, Sodus

• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 15: Old Navy store, Fairplain Plaza, 1040 Fairplain Ave., Benton Harbor

 Michigan Blood

• Noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday: Michigan Blood Main Donor Center, 2710 Cleveland Ave., St. Joseph

• 2 to 7 p.m. Sept. 13: St. John and Bernard Parish, 555 E. Delaware Ave., Benton Harbor

One-day opportunities

• On Nov. 30, volunteer as a greeter at the St. Joseph’s Martin’s Super Market. Volunteer greeters stand inside the entrance doors and inquire if shoppers would like to become a Secret Santa. Near the entryway will be a Christmas tree adorned with ornaments with wishes written on them.  The shopper can simply select one or more ornaments from the tree and find the item during their shopping trip.  At checkout, shoppers give the ornament and purchased item(s) to the cashier.  Gifts are delivered to the person’s home by Area Agency on Aging staff members. These gifts are small but significant reminders that the community remembers them.

Adults and youth

• Join Overflow Church in hosting “Prom: An Evening with the Stars” for teens and adults with special needs.  Area churches, schools, businesses and agencies are partnering together to create an evening of celebration. Be one of the 500 volunteers hosting 300 guests with special needs.  Escort a guest down the red carpet, help with the prom store, assist with games, provide administrative help, assist with set up, decorations or with one of the many other tasks.  The event is Oct. 6, but help is needed now for many of these activities.

• Michigan Blood needs volunteers who will be trained in the post-donation station and are responsible for socializing with donors, observing donors for reactions and offering fluids and other refreshments.  No experience is necessary, just a friendly, dependable and caring attitude.  Minimum age is 16 and a background check will be required.  Orientation and training provided.


• While out school shopping, why not pick up a few extra items to donate to a local school or one of the many programs serving families and kids.  Call Volunteer Southwest Michigan and we’ll help you figure out which organization would welcome a donation.

Here are a few ideas for remembering and honoring Sept. 11:

• Visit and explore volunteer opportunities and contact an organization about volunteering.

• Make cookies and thank you cards with your kids and take them down to the local fire station or police station.

• Remember that sense of community after the tragedy?   Decide how to reconnect to your community.  Will you help a neighbor rake their leaves this fall?   Visit someone in a nursing home?

• Visit or for more ideas.

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

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