Jul 24, 2018 10:00AM
Welcome to our volunteer column sponsored by Grand Rapids Community Foundation. Discover which volunteer position best describes you. Pick a cause and react voluntarily!
Mariah ShaltryVolunteer for Barnabas Ministries, Little Orange Scooter, Forgotten Man Ministries, Kent County Jail and Little Space Studio.
"Paying it forward to people who have felt displaced, marginalized, or alone has become such a big part of who I am. I am so honored to have gotten to spend time serving and getting to know some amazing people in Grand Rapids."
Be there for a child who needs an advocate by becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). This volunteer opportunity is long-term, lasting at least one year and requires 10-20 hours a month. After 30 hours of training, you will be sworn in by the court and assigned a foster child or children to advocate for in the court process. Special advocates visit with the kids and family members weekly to keep tabs on how things are going and provide a well-informed report to the court every 90 days, which is used in determining what will be the best permanent placement for the child.
Take Action: Visit casakentco.org/volunteer/become-a-casa-volunteer.
Catch the ball game while lending a hand by becoming a volunteer for the West Michigan Whitecaps. Volunteers must be over 18 and can expect to work a total of four hours before and during the game. Some volunteer opportunities include selling tickets, counting cash and handling the electronic ticketing system, but more instruction is given the day of the event. Some perks of the job include free parking, admission to the game (after responsibilities, of course), four undated Whitecaps tickets and one hot dog and soda voucher.
Take Action: To get started, email Jessica at [email protected]
The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is looking for volunteers in all different areas. From stocking inventory to planting gardens to welcoming guests and handing out maps, get the full experience of the gardens and support one of our city’s most beautiful and thriving institutions. Teens ages 14-17 are invited to volunteer over the summer as a Play Activity Leader (PAL) in the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden. These teens have the fun job of playing with kids and leading them in games and activities in the garden. Kids Tram drivers (16+) engage families on interactive tram rides through the Sculpture Park with activities and discussions.
Take Action: Contact Amber Oudsema at 616-974-5221 or [email protected].
If you love history and are hungry to learn more, then volunteering at a museum may be a perfect fit. The Gerald R. Ford Museum, which focuses on Grand Rapids residents former President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford is in need of volunteers to assist with tours, educational programs and public events.
Take Action: For more info, contact volunteer coordinator Kristin Mooney at [email protected]
Join the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks for a day of beautifying Dickinson Park. On July 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. all ages are welcome to join the work. The goal of this project is to encourage the community to help work in the parks and get feedback on what parks need. At 6:30 p.m., there will be a free BBQ for all volunteers involved. All tools and instruction will be provided.
Take Action: Visit friendsofgrparks.org/event/dickinson-park-bbq-beautify.
Does your organization have a volunteer opportunity that would be perfect for this page or an extraordinary volunteer who we should spotlight? Please email our editor, Elyse Wild, at [email protected]