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Volunteer Southwest Michigan: Volunteers needed with specialized skills

Published 9:20pm Monday, October 1, 2012

Volunteer Southwest Michigan has a renewed focus on placing people with specialized skills and talents in volunteer opportunities where they may be the most fulfilled and beneficial. The following examples are great options for people with certain skill sets seeking ways to help people in their communities.

Foster grandparents

Foster grandparents provide assistance to children in need of one-on-one attention in schools, early childhood centers, detention centers, migrant programs, after-school programs and emergency shelters throughout Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties.

Foster grandparents are matched primarily with three to four children with learning, physical, developmental and/or emotional disabilities; children with incarcerated parents or in foster care; and children who have experienced abuse and neglect.

In return for their service, volunteers receive a tax-free stipend (that does not change other benefits), mileage reimbursement, ongoing monthly training opportunities, excess accident and liability insurance during service hours and staff support.

• Volunteer minimum age: 18

• Days available: Monday through Friday

Hair styling for hospice

Hospice clients are in need of hairdressers and barbers. Volunteers must be able to go to clients’ homes. Clients may have limited mobility and may not be able to sit upright.

• Volunteer minimum age: 18

• Days available: Monday through Sunday

Music director

The Salvation Army in Niles seeks a music program director to help develop and direct its music program. Candidates must have excellent management and communication skills; must pass a background check; and must love music.

• Volunteer minimum age: 18

Pool buddies

The Learning Tree Preschool seeks pool buddies to accompany children in the pool, where they learn water safety and swimming. Must submit to a background check and attend training. Call Doris at the YMCA at 683-1552 or email

To inquire about these volunteer opportunities or to make an appointment, call Volunteer Southwest Michigan at (269) 983-0912.
Visit; or send an email to 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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