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

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July 9, 2013

The Volunteer Connection by Margaret Shultz

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Written by: Bruce Snook
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Margaret Shultz, Volunteer Services Specialist

Up-Cycled Pets is a St. Joseph County nonprofit dedicated to finding loving and permanent homes for dogs and cats that are unable to stay with their original owners.  In some cases the owners have died or are no longer able to care for a pet.  In other cases, the animals have been subject to abuse or neglect.  Up-Cycled Pets works with volunteer foster homes where the animals are sheltered until an adoptive home can be found.  They are currently in need of more foster homes for dogs.

Volunteers who are willing to serve as foster homes will receive lots of support from Up-Cycled Pets.  The agency covers the cost of all the medical care, including vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and any other care needed to keep the animal healthy and happy.  Foster homes are asked to provide food, treats, toys, beds and normal day to day things needed for a dog.  If the dog has special needs or if the foster family has a financial hardship, Up-Cycled Pets will help to whatever extent they can.  Foster families are asked to have the dog available to meet prospective adopters and the agency will help to coordinate those meetings.  If you think that there’s room in your heart and your home for a foster dog, please call Lynda Molter at 269-273-1514 or visit their website at www.upcycledpets.info.  If you would like to help but can’t take an animal Lynda also needs help distributing promotional materials around the county.

Everybody has things that break or stop working around their house.  When that happens, it can be a challenge figuring out how to get it fixed.  If you’re lucky, you or someone close to you can fix it without having to call someone in.  As you get older, and I know this from personal experience, it’s harder to crawl under a sink or climb a ladder or even see the little slots in screws.  There is a wonderful group of volunteers at the Commission on Aging called the Tuesday Toolmen.  They help do minor home repairs or safety modifications for seniors.  Typical kinds of work that is done include installing grab bars, fixing leaky faucets, or repairing windows or screens.  The volunteers for this program must complete an application and undergo a background check before they are accepted.  The volunteers normally go out to a client’s home in pairs.  If you are a handy person the Tuesday Toolmen could really use your help.  For more information or for a volunteer application please call Sherry Swartz at 269-279-8083.

Don’t forget to watch for the back to school sales that will be starting soon.  The Three Rivers Back to School project needs donations of all kinds of school supplies and backpacks.  They are hoping to have enough supplies to help at least 500 kids, kindergarten through high school, with grade-appropriate materials to give them a good start to the school year.  Donations may be dropped off at the Commission on Aging office in Three Rivers any time during normal business hours.

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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