Our region has a lot of people who are concerned about their communities, who care about others. We see it every day in the success groups have in their fundraisers, in special events, in keeping volunteer-run groups functioning. And although the number of people who volunteer seems enormous, there might be more out there who are looking for the right match for their interests and a certain kind of charitable work.
This is National Volunteer Week. It’s an opportunity for groups that rely on volunteers to reach out to the community and help spread the word about the void volunteers help fill. It’s also a time for prospective volunteers to explore what’s out there.
In Union County, the Commission on Children and Families oversees a hotline, the Volunteer Link, which works to bring people interested in helping together with service agencies that could use more volunteer help.
Anyone considering donating some time to non-profit groups should give the hotline a call. Find out what’s involved. What skills are needed. What the time commitment might be. Find out about the various kinds of groups looking for volunteer help.
Another option is keeping an eye on The Observer’s Wish List, which runs in the paper every Tuesday. Local non-profits provide The Observer with lists of items that they need to help keep their operating costs down. Some of them also list volunteer opportunities. For example, the Union County Senior Center needs drivers for Meals on Wheels and people to help with Saturday meals. The Literacy Center at Cook Memorial Library needs a Saturday morning volunteer. And Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers to help build the next home. For those who don’t have time to volunteer, the agencies also list various items that could be donated.
Volunteers enable our service agencies to meet people’s needs, and they help keep overhead costs lower. Anyone who has an inkling of an interest in lending a hand should follow through by contacting the Volunteer Link at 541-963-1034.