With holiday shopping (hopefully) behind us, it’s time to think forward and plan ahead — for your New Year’s resolutions.
Besides the usual (yawn) I "will-exercise-more” and “will-lose-weight” mantras, how about volunteering? Make your life and community a better place in the upcoming year. Share some of your personal time and gain insight into the lives of others. You might even get some muscle in the process.
Here are some places to consider in 2012. And if you have any other ideas, please let us know in the comments.
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Salvation Army — The Army is looking for few good men and women to help around its Community Center in Maplewood. The organization is looking for volunteers to restock its food pantry and pack food bags for those in need. Most folks receive four to five bags of groceries per week. Presently, they have one volunteer handling this function for 30-40 recipients. They could also use some help (tutors) with their latchkey program. For more information, call the Maplewood facility at (314) 781-5434 or contact visit the organization's, general volunteer database.
Animal Protective Association of Missouri — If you are passionate about our four-legged friends, consider helping out at the APA by walking dogs, cleaning cages or folding newspapers at this Brentwood-based organization. And if you have a lovable pooch, you and Fido might be a candidate for the association’s PETReach program. After undergoing training, certified dogs and their masters visit residents in nursing homes and patients in hospitals to spread love and cheer. For details, contact the volunteer office at (314) 645-4610 or go online.
Lutheran Senior Services — Help those facing a life-limiting illness through this local hospice program. Lutheran Senior Services in Brentwood is seeking caring and compassionate volunteers to provide companionship (friendly visits, writing letters or reading), support for families—like grocery shopping, and giving caretakers a break. If interested, contact Pam Gordon at (314) 262-8206 or by email.
Mother to Mother — This Maplewood-based organization provides telephone support to women experiencing emotional difficulties during their pregnancy and post-partum. Mother to Mother is seeking compassionate women, who experienced similar difficulties, to provide peer support. It is not a hotline service, however. The organization is accepting applications for its upcoming spring training session. Contact the organization at 314-644-7001 or use the agency’s online contact form.
YMCA Community Literacy — Are you an avid reader with a GED degree or high school diploma? If so, then consider the YMCA for your New Year’s good deed. The Y is looking for reading tutors for school-age children and adults enrolled in its Literacy Council and YRead programs. Tutors spend one-and-a-half hours (once a week) to mentor an adult, and two hours (spread over two sessions) per week for children. Volunteers can work at either the Brentwood or Maplewood libraries. For more information, call Jennifer Schmidt, adult services program director, at (314) 776-7102 or by email.