Polly’s Place aims to help battered women

Published 11:00 am Monday, February 5, 2007

By Staff
There are many volunteer opportunities to help women and children in crisis. The Emergency Shelter in Benton Harbor provides a safe environment for those without a place to stay. Once a month, usually the last Wednesday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. mothers staying in the Shelter, or women from the community, can participate in a Sisterhood Club. This outreach program offers the mothers support and education. Volunteer childcare supervisors will oversee other volunteers providing childcare and assure a lesson plan and activities are conducted in an orderly fashion. Polly's Place in Niles is a shelter for abused women. Volunteers can assist with clerical duties, fill the role of office manager, handle crisis calls, or drive women to medical and other appointments. A background check is required and training will be provided. The physical building could also use volunteers. Plumbing and electrical work are especially needed.
The Veteran's Administration and the Disabled Veterans Transportation Network are seeking a roster of drivers for Tuesday and Thursday trips to the veteran's hospital in Battle Creek. Drivers should be willing to leave at 6 a.m. and be gone all day. You need to be insurable, pass a physical and T.B. test, and attend a training session. You should also feel comfortable with winter driving on back roads in the van provided. If you would like to help out, but are not available for Battle Creek, the Niles Senior Center also has opportunities to drive veterans and other seniors to doctors appointment locally Monday through Friday at various times. Our veterans served us well, now let's serve them! Contact the Volunteer Center to connect.
Looking for the perfect red gift for Valentine's Day? Give the gift of life, give blood.
Friday, Feb. 9 – Peace Lutheran Church, 3590 Lincoln Ave., St. Joseph – noon to 5:45 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 14 – Celebration Cinema, Benton Harbor – noon to 5:45 p.m.
For a complete listing visit www.berrienredcross.org
Monday, Feb. 12 – Celebration Cinema, Benton Harbor – 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 15 – Benton Harbor High School, 870 Colfax – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For a complete listing visit www.miblood.org
Do you dream of summer days at camp? Are you energetic, patient and ready to be a role model for kids? As part of Chicago Youth Centers, Camp Rosenthal in Dowagiac helps kids from underserved Chicago neighborhoods realize their full potential. The camp also has campers from Southwest Michigan through Civitan Clubs and Berrien County Intermediate School District. Volunteer assistant counselors willing to commit to at least one week during the summer for 10 to 40 hours will receive training in child development, behavior management, team building and many other topics. Training is the week of June 16 and volunteer opportunities last through Aug. 24. Volunteers should expect a full background check, TB test and drug tests. Camp Rosenthal believes all kids deserve to have a camp experience … don't you deserve it too? Contact the Volunteer Center to connect to summer fun!
The HOSTS Program of Fairplain West School in Benton Harbor helps students succeed one at a time. Volunteer mentors should be 16 or older and pass a security check. Training will be provided along with a prepared lesson plan. Mentors will work with children on reading, vocabulary, language arts, and writing for 45 minutes at a time of their choosing between 9:30 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. Some mentors have arranged with their employers to allow them to go once a week.
Do your kids ever complain about how hard life is? Do you catch yourself saying "You don't know how good you have it!" Instead of telling them, why not show them? Poverty and need are not something you have to travel to find…it is in your own backyard. People are lonely without family; they are homeless without resources; they are struggling to make a good life. Help your children connect with reality; contact the Volunteer Center. You may be surprised when you connect with your children as well.
Summer may seem like a far away dream, but camps and festivals are already making their plans … are you? Start thinking about what you would like to do this summer. Call Patricia Leonard, youth volunteer coordinator to connect.
To connect with any of these volunteer opportunities, call the Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan in Niles at (269) 683-5464.