Volunteer Portage is a service of United Ways

Laura Nethken Published:

Volunteer Portage is a service of United Ways Community Service Division. We provide information on volunteer opportunities for anyone wanting 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. Send e-mail to:gloria@uwportage.org or visit the Web site at www.uwportage.org. Mary, a volunteer with Safer Futures, was looking for a volunteer opportunity for Christmas Eve before volunteering with the shelter. Perhaps serving a meal. When this holiday prospect did not materialize, she did not give up on seeking another volunteer opportunity. As a result of a conversation, she ended up arranging to volunteer where women and children live in a domestic violence shelter.What an experience! was Marys reaction to her new found volunteer opportunity. They truly appreciated my efforts. And, I met wonderful people and decided that I would like to continue to participate in some small way with the people in this shelter, she said. Thats how it happened, and Mary has been a volunteer at Safer Futures for the past two years.The staff here are so supportive of the families they house. Being a volunteer at Safer Futures is one thing I do that is personally rewarding. The families receive more personal attention and support because volunteers accomplish tasks that enable the shelter to run smoothly, she said. Here are some personally rewarding volunteer opportunities available for you: Habitat for Humanity of Portage County is looking for volunteer construction workers and construction site supervisors with all levels of experience to help make a house a home for a deserving family in our community. Construction supervisors must be experienced in residential construction and willing to supervise other less experienced volunteers. Construction work is done from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; lunch is provided. Contact Dick Rowley at (330) 296-2880 or HFHofPC@aol.com. Safer Futures has a new program, Place of Peace, that will provide safe exchanges for families experiencing conflict or violence during court ordered exchanges. Volunteers are needed to assist with children, document exchanges and supervise. An eight-hour training session will be provided, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Contact Jessica Sabin at (330) 673-2500 or jsabinsf@hotmail.com. Safer Futures has opportunities for supporting callers on the crisis line; transporting clients; providing childcare and support to clients. Volunteers must be 18 years or older and insurable for driving ability to provide acceptance and support. Training and volunteer support provided. Hours are flexible to suit your needs. Contact: Janet Verte at (330) 673-2500, (330)296-2100 or jverthe@neo.rr.com. Big Brothers & Sisters of Portage County picks up unwanted running and non-running cars, trucks, and vans. No charge to donor. Donor receives a tax deduction for fair market value. Donor needs to provide keys and title. Vehicles usually picked up in three days or less. Contact Ron Kilchenman at (330)296-6655 or BigBrothersandSisters@att.net. Senior Nutrition Program provides hot meals for seniors at sites throughout Portage County. Volunteers are much appreciated for the following: picking up food at the food bank on Monday; stocking shelves every other Wednesday; and helping prepare meals on Wednesday mornings. A volunteer must be able to drive a standard truck and lift 50 pounds for a few of the duties. Needed times are from 9 to 11 a.m. Mondays, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays, and 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays. On the job training is provided. Contact Erin Nelmes at (330) 296-9211. Center of Hope Ravenna Christian Cupboard has volunteer opportunities to help with the emergency food pantry, packing and distributing food to families. You will feel good helping others. On site training is provided. Commitment of once a week each month for two to three consecutive hours is appreciated. Contact Daryle Fullum at (330) 297-5454. Center of Hope Hot Meal Program is inviting you to join an exceptional team of volunteers to prepare and serve a hot meal to folks in our community. If you can handle appreciation, apply. On site training is provided. They are asking for a one time a week commitment of four hours. Contact Daryle Fullum at (330) 297-5454. Hattie Larlham Center for Children with Disabilities (Bailey Group Home): Spring is in the air and volunteers are needed to till and care for a garden. The group home has a large back yard that would make an excellent place for a garden. A stand would be available to operate the sale of the produce. Hours are flexible. Contact Lydia Roach at (330) 274-2272 or Lydia.Roach@hattielarlham.

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