River Country Journal
Celebrating and Nurturing Life in Southwest Michigan's River Country

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February 6, 2013

The Volunteer Connection by Margaret Shultz

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Written by: Bruce Snook
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Margaret Shultz, Volunteer Services Specialist

At United Way we are looking forward to our Victory Celebration on February 7 at which time we will announce the final numbers for this year’s fundraising campaign.  There are many people in the county who help us to raise the money to support 42 agencies that provide services to our neighbors.  Many of those agencies are the same ones I write about each week when they are looking for volunteers to help with the work they do.  I’m hoping next week to be able to tell you that we’ve met our goal for the year and to acknowledge some people who made special efforts to help us get there.  We also hope to offer some fun and exciting ways for new volunteers to help with next year’s campaign.  Stay tuned!

There is a small but dedicated group of AARP volunteers who have worked in St. Joseph County for many years to provide free preparation of income tax forms for low and moderate income taxpayers.  The volunteers have been in training for the past couple of months and will be ready to offer their services starting this week.  They will be available at the Sturgis Senior Center on Tuesdays from 9:30 am to 1 pm and at the Three Rivers Community Center on Tuesdays from 9 am to 1 pm.  This service is first-come, first-served and only the first 30 people in line each day will be guaranteed to get served.  There is a list of things to bring with you and you can get a copy of that list at the United Way office at 269-467-9099 or by calling 211.

The Salvation Army Thrift Store in Sturgis never has a slow time.  Every day people come in looking for needed items and other people come to drop off the things they no longer use.  Pam Duskin is the manager of the store and she would love to have volunteers help with sorting the donations, arranging displays in the store, waiting on customers and helping with record keeping.  There is no minimum commitment so you can choose to work just a little or as much as you wish.  Call Pam at 269-651-3805.

Riverside Clinic is located in Three Rivers and serves individuals who have no medical insurance or who are under-insured.  In addition to medical care, clients are also offered assistance with dental and mental health services.  Volunteers provide most of the services at the clinic.  Because some regular volunteers have gone south for the winter, the clinic is currently in need of some new people to help out.  Volunteers help with greeting clients as they enter the building and they assist with completing intake paperwork.  Volunteers also help with completing Medicaid applications.  The clinic is in special need of doctors and nurses willing to donate their skills and for volunteers who are familiar with completing medical forms.  There is no minimum commitment to volunteer at Riverside Clinic and training is provided before you start your assignment.  Call Cindy Kujacznski at 269-251-4859 if you’d like to help.

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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