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January 30, 2013

The Volunteer Connection by Margaret Shultz

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Written by: Bruce Snook
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Margaret Shultz, Volunteer Services Specialist

All volunteers are special but this week we are looking for some people with extra special skills to help a group of Centreville High School students.  In Michigan, students now have to complete at least four credits of math, including Algebra II, in order to graduate.  Centreville has some students who are struggling with the Algebra II work and would benefit from some tutoring help.  The school is willing to make space available for volunteers to meet with students on-site.  If you have the ability to understand and explain advanced math concepts you could help a young person successfully conquer this challenge and allow them to move on to the next chapter of their life.  Contact Sarah Dickman, school counselor, at 467-5212 ex. 300 for information and to sign up as a school volunteer.  Background checks will be completed before the volunteer is matched with a student.

The Girl Scouts have several girls in kindergarten through 4th grade who are interested in being in a troop but there are not enough adults who have offered to be troop leaders.  Right now, the program is looking for volunteers who are willing to be short-term leaders in the Three Rivers and Constantine areas.  These volunteers would work with a group of girls for a period of just 6 to 8 weeks in order to give them a brief introduction to the Girl Scout experience.  Training and support will be provided.  Of course, anyone interested in serving as a permanent Girl Scout leader would also be gratefully welcomed.  Contact Krystal Prince at 800-788-4919.

The St. Joseph County Literacy Council still has students in the Sturgis area who are waiting for tutors to help them learn to read better.  My friend, Becky Lilly, who is the director of the Literacy Council, said she wished she could better explain how much fun the current tutors were having with their students.  If you like the idea of helping someone to be better able to navigate through life by improving their literacy but you’d never thought of it as a new way to have fun maybe you should give Becky a call.  You can reach her at 269-279-9581 or 269-858-9378.

The Department of Human Services and the American Cancer Society both need volunteer drivers to transport their clients to medical appointments.  For both agencies, prospective volunteers must have a safe driving record, a valid driver’s license, and minimum state required liability insurance.  There is no minimum commitment and volunteers may work as much or as little as they like.  The DHS provides mileage reimbursement of 55.5¢ per mile.  The Cancer Society is not normally able to provide mileage reimbursement but sometimes provides gas cards for volunteers who are transporting clients a long distance.  The contact person at DHS is Jan Reed and she may be reached at 269-467-1223.   The contact person at the American Cancer Society is Ann Moenke and you can reach her at 269-349-8710.

Other programs in St. Joseph County that are looking for volunteers and would like to be included in this weekly column are encouraged to register with United Way.  Contact Margaret Shultz, Volunteer Services Specialist, at 269-467-9099 or at volunteer.sjcuw@gmail.com.






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