Are you ready to make a committment?

Published 8:19 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2007

By Staff
When you reflect on your life and you think about who encouraged you while you were in school, on your first job, or as you considered taking a new position, someone came along side of you and encouraged you to press forward and to not give up. This unique volunteer opportunity is to be that to another person, to move them forward to success. Think of doing it in honor of the parent or grandparent, teacher, or supervisor that mentored you. As a Literacy Mentor/Tutor for MI Works! you will develop a supportive relationship with one person involved in vocational and adult education. Your commitment should be for at least one year for two hours a week. Long term solutions require long term commitments. You will meet with your mentee on a regular basis to support their vocational, educational and employment goals. You assist them in solving work-related or educational problems that interfere with their success. We all know it is a tough job market out there, but you can make a difference one person at a time.
Are you a young adult with an interest in working with youth to present drug prevention and awareness campaigns? The Community Alliance Against Substance Abuse volunteer advisors spend about 10 hours a month facilitating meetings and assisting Teens Influencing Choices (TIC), a youth advisory council, in developing special events. You will also enjoy chaperoning field trips, being involved in the Alliance, and mentoring teen leaders. Monthly meetings rotate to different locations throughout Berrien County. Six positions are available to start immediately. This is an interesting volunteer opportunity for those with experience and a resume builder for those seeking to expand their skills.
Harbor Harvest Urban Ministries is working to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the Benton Harbor community. Exciting volunteer opportunities are available as teachers, tutors and mentors for afternoon and evening programs. The Imani Youth Program will teach fourth and fifth graders hands-on skills such as cooking. The Girls Mentoring Program for sixth to ninth graders will provide a safe and empowering environment for girls to learn, interact and discuss issues important to them. Training will be provided and volunteers will work in teams. All volunteers will need to pass a criminal background check. Harbor Harvest is working to make a difference. You can make a difference one child at a time!
United Way of Southwest Michigan improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities. One of the ways it does this is by providing the community with an information and referral call center, First Call for Help. This call center helps about 700 people a month. The data base used is ready for an update and as a community resource database volunteer you can assure that the needed information is accurate and up to date. You will also learn about the many nonprofits and their services that are available in southwest Michigan. You will be working from a prepared script calling agencies to verify basic information. Requirements include good communication and phone skills as well as good handwriting. Excel experience is a plus, but not required. You can work anytime of your choosing Monday – Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Kids love coming with school groups to the Benton Harbor/ St. Joseph YMCA September through May. Strong, caring, male role models are needed Monday through Friday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. to help these students understand respect and use of public facilities (locker room). A background check will be required.
Nearly 70 percent of people need a blood transfusion in their lifetime, yet only 5 percent of those eligible give blood. Donate lifesaving blood Today!
Tuesday, Aug. 21, Niles Christian Embassy, 1922 E. Main St., Niles: noon to 5:45 p.m.
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Did you know the gift shop at Lakeland Community Hospital in Niles helps buy important medical equipment? Of course they also help encourage and cheer patients by making it easy for visitors to bring gifts. Come be a part of this important service when you volunteer at the Niles gift shop. You will help customers with their purchases, deliver phone orders, run the cash register and visa machines. You can choose to work on either Saturday or Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
Is your family spending time at the beach and in the parks? Why not take along a bag and pick up any litter you encounter? This is an easy way to make a difference and teach your children taking care of the environment and public spaces is everyone's job.
You are the technology generation! The Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan is launching a new way to connect to volunteer opportunities through a web site that is the of volunteering. It will also allow students to sign up for volunteering via e-mail and help track volunteer hours. Would you be interested in promoting this to your school?