12 Days of Volunteering, Day 12: Looking Toward a New Year
Giving back isn't just for the holidays. Here are more ways to volunteer in 2011.
According to many nonprofits in the area, the holidays are the most popular time to volunteer. Although it's great that food pantries, homeless shelters and other charitable organizations are booked solid with volunteers for the holidays, this isn't necessarily reflective of the number of hands on deck during the rest of the year. With that said, looking toward the new year, here are a handful of nonprofit organizations that have enough volunteers through the holidays, but are hurting for help throughout the year.
Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan has numerous opportunities throughout the year. Volunteers are welcome Tues-Sat to help at various distribution centers throughout southeastern Michigan. The Food Bank serves Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties by distributing emergency food to nearly 500 pantries, shelters and soup kitchens in the area. With five Gleaners distribution centers, there is plenty of work to go around. Oakland County's Gleaners is in Pontiac and its volunteer coordinator, Sarah Blight, can be reached at 866-453-2637 ext. 402. For more information on other locations or volunteer opportunities, visit www.gcfb.org.
Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac have been helping people since 1942. The Centers were created to serve homeless women, men and children who have previously been addicted to alcohol or drugs or for those that have been abused. It functions as a recovery center and volunteers are needed to cook and serve meals, assist in fundraisers, offer aid in different programs and more. The volunteer department can be reached at 248-334-2187. Information forms can be found online at www.gracecentersofhope.org.
The mission of Oak Park's Forgotten Harvest is to prevent waste and hunger in the metro Detroit area. It maintains this mission by collecting excess foods and perishables, and then distributing the collections among various emergency food providers. People are needed to assist Harvest drivers by picking up food donations at different sites and offloading the food at recipient agencies. For more information contact the volunteer manager, Krista Poole, at 248-967-1500 ext. 114 or submit the volunteer form online at www.forgottenharvest.org.
Common Ground offers an array of programs to help those in need. Volunteers are needed to take calls for its 24-hour crisis line for both adults and youth. Other opportunities include helping staff the youth residential program by taking calls and aiding the counseling process. Attorneys are always needed to volunteer their time for Common Ground's legal clinic. In order to volunteer call 248-451-3736 or visit www.commongroundhelps.org.
Day 1: Yatooma's Foundation for the Kids
Day 2: American Red Cross
Day 3: South Oakland Shelter
Day 4: Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan
Day 5: Habitat for Humanity
Day 6: The Bottomless Toy Chest
Day 7: Salvation Army
Day 8: Church World Service
Day 9: Welcome Inn Day Center
Day 10: South Oakland Warming Center
Day 11: Four Places to Donate