Joshua Sells is a senior at Rootstown High

Laura Nethken Published:

Joshua Sells is a senior at Rootstown High School. Josh is valedictorian of his graduating class, and is the recipient of the 2003 Prudential Spirit Award for his involvement in volunteering in the community. He said he became interested in volunteering because someone asked him to volunteer. And since then, Josh said, I have found volunteering to be very addictive.

Josh has been involved in Teen Volunteer Portage for three years, and has volunteered at Robinson Memorial Hospital for one year. Seeing the smiles of everyone I have helped is the biggest reward that I get from volunteering. Just knowing that I am making a difference is enough to keep me volunteering.

To others considering volunteering, Joshs advice is Just do it; you dont know what you are missing until you try it. Josh said the number of volunteers could skyrocket if we simply asked people to do it and so here we go and we are asking you to consider volunteering for the following area organizations.

Robinson Memorial Hospital has a new opportunity opening at the Kent Medical Arts Building as a receptionist to direct visitors. Seven openings are still available. Your neighbors will be so grateful for your assistance. Must be 18 years of age. Hours are 8 a.m. to noon or noon to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Contact: Debbie Wilcox, Director of Volunteer Services, at (330) 297-2591 or dwilcox@rmh2.org.

Safer Futures has opportunities available for volunteers to assist with supporting caller on crisis line; transporting clients; providing child-care; and providing support to clients. Must be 18 years of age and insurable for driving; and have the ability to provide acceptance and support. Training and support provided for volunteers. Hours are flexible to suit individual needs. Contact: Janet Verthe at (330) 673-2500 or (330) 296-2100 or e-mail jverthe@neo.rr.com.

Big Brothers and Sisters of Portage County Inc. picks up unwanted running and non-running cars, trucks and vans at no charge to the donor. Donor receives a tax deduction for the fair market value. Donor needs to provide keys and title. Vehicles are usually picked up in three days or less from Portage County, Newton Falls, Stow, and Hudson. Call Ron Kilchenman for more details at (330) 296-6655. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. After hours, leave message on answering machine or e-mail BigBrothersandSisters@att.net.

Townhall II has opportunities for caring volunteers to answer the 24-hour Crisis Helpline. The Helpline is located in Kent and answers thousands of calls each year from people throughout Northeastern Ohio.

We have provided assistance to callers with concerns including suicide, rape, domestic violence, addiction, and other issues for the past 30 years. We are especially interested in adding volunteers from throughout Portage and Summit counties, including those with a variety of backgrounds and experience, to our dedicated and hardworking staff. Intensive training is provided, so previous counseling experience is not required. The next training class begins March 4. Call us at (330) 678-7553 for more information about this exciting opportunity.

Habitat for Humanity of Portage County has a number of volunteering opportunities in the following areas.

Construction Volunteer Coaches are needed who are experienced in residential construction and willing to work with less experienced construction volunteers to instruct and lead them in performing a wide range of residential construction functions including framing carpentry, siding,insulation, drywall, painting, finish carpentry, hang light fixtures and blinds and general clean up.

Experienced and inexperienced construction volunteers are needed to perform a wide range of residential construction functions including framing carpentry, siding, insulation, drywall, painting, finish carpentry, hang light fixtures and blinds and general clean up.

Committee Volunteers are needed who have experience and abilities in the following areas:

Site Selection Identify and evaluate affordable building lots in Northern Portage County. Partner Family Relations Work with moderate income families to become qualified for and develop into successful Habitat homeowners.

Sponsor Relations Work with churches, businesses and service groups to develop supporters and sponsors of Habitat home-building projects.

Fundraising Work on the preparation of foundation grant applications and presentations to organizations soliciting major gifts.

Construction volunteers need to be at least 16 years of age and sign a waiver and complete a sign-in time sheet and contact information form. On the job training is provided.

Construction volunteers are needed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday although we welcome people who cant work the full day.Lunch is provided.

Committee Volunteer time requirements are very flexible and will range from two to 20 hours per month.

Habitat is currently constructing a new house at 679 S. Prospect St., in Ravenna. Contact: Dick Rowley, (330) 296-2880, fax (330) 296-5263 or e-mail HFHofPC@aol.com.

Volunteer Portage is a service of United Ways Community Service Division. We connect people with opportunities to serve in the community. Volunteer Portage is located at 126 N. Prospect St., Ravenna. Contact us at (330) 297-4636 or (800) 961-0191 24 hours a day/seven days a week or send e-mail to gloria@uwportage.org.

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