We are wrapping up the spring semester and created this video to sum up the process of TurnUptheVolUMN! and all those fancy things people would like to know.  Check it out.  Thanks again for all of those who volunteered! You now know how easy it is to volunteer despite your busy life. Keep staying active in your communities and making a difference!

-Tim, Sylvia, Laura, Eric, and Tom

Meals on Wheels

Take Action:  Volunteer

How can you help Meals On Wheels programs provide the next meal “so no senior goes hungry”®?

Take the Pledge to End Senior Hunger by 2020

A groundbreaking research study found that as of 2007, there were nearly 6 million seniors facing the threat of hunger. Our goal is to match that number – with 6 million people who are willing to stand up and pledge to do what it takes to end senior hunger. Will you take the Pledge?

Contact Your Local Program to Deliver or Prepare a Meal

Volunteers are the backbone of Meals On Wheels programs across the country. Not only do they prepare and deliver meals to homebound seniors in their local communities, Meals On Wheels volunteers provide the seniors they serve with companionship and a warm, friendly smile when they arrive at the door.

There are a lot of volunteer opportunities at a Meals On Wheels program near you, though specific openings will vary from one location to another. People with all schedules, interests and abilities can help at a local Meals On Wheels program – whether they want to be hands-on or behind the scenes, and whether they can volunteer during weekdays or only on evenings and weekends. Call your local organization to find out how you can help.

How Can YOU Help?

MOWAA Members across the country identified these common volunteer positions. Not all opportunities are not available at every organization – and many local programs have additional, unique volunteer needs.

Drivers and Runners
Drivers pick up meals at a central location then follow a specific route, making several stops along the way to deliver to Meals On Wheels recipients. Sometimes a driver works with a volunteer “runner” who takes the meal from the car to the door of the seniors’ homes.

Special Events
All Meals On Wheels programs have events and fundraisers that require extra help – including planning and organizing, publicity, onsite setup and staffing and much more. Ask your local program if there are upcoming events that you can help with.

Office Help
Most people don’t realize that all Meals On Wheels programs have an administrative side – an office that organizes meal preparation and delivery and communicates with clients. Many programs use volunteers to provide administrative and clerical support to keep the office running smoothly.

Meal Preparation and Packaging
At many programs, volunteers assist in the kitchen, preparing meals or packing them for delivery.

Telephone Calls
Many programs have volunteers who make regular phone calls to the seniors to check up on them. This is often a great opportunity for volunteers looking to participate from their own homes on a flexible schedule.

Senior Center Aides
Some Meals On Wheels programs provide congregate meals in addition to home delivered meals – serving meals at a central location, where seniors can come to eat together. For programs that include a senior center, there are many opportunities available for those interested in helping with activities, meal service and other tasks.

NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK - NEXT WEEK!!

National Volunteer Week

Our goal for this project is to culminate in greater participation of National Volunteer Week. For year 2011, the dates are April 10-16. That’s less than a week away! So before we get started with our awesome volunteer opportunity, it’s important to remember why we are doing volunteering.

 

National Volunteer Week began in 1974 with the original intention to celebrate, appreciate, and recognize the incredible work volunteers do throughout the year. However, since then National Volunteer Week has become a national effort to volunteer as a community and urge others to start volunteering. The weekly theme for every National Volunteer Week is “Celebrating People In Action.”

 

National Volunteer Week was declared an executive order by the President, Richard Nixon, in 1974; who established the week of service. Still to this day, every year, political leaders reinforce this executive order by declaring the week of volunteering, and in adhering participate themselves in volunteer work. Traditionally, the president will send out a proclamation about National Volunteer Week that inspires others to volunteer during this week, or any time. Last year in 2010, President Obama delivered his proclamation that tried to “renew commitment to service.” To read all Obama’s 2010 National Volunteer Week proclamation, visit;   http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-proclamation-national-volunteer-week. The white house also partners with specific organizations to recognize outstanding volunteers through a “gold reward” a certificate that verifies you have contributed 100 hours as a kid or 250 hours as a young adult or 500 hours as an adult that year. 

 

Since the initiation of National Volunteer Week, compared to in 2008, 23 million more Americans volunteered. This is a 60% increase in proportion to population growth. Although this is just one week of awareness that began almost four decades ago, the altruistic nature of volunteering has spread among the American people, not just for that one week, but all year long. 

 

Many view this week as an opportunity to inspire others. Some view it as the time to renew their commitment to volunteering at their place of choice, or even to begin to volunteer for the first time. Volunteering can be done through any organization that fits you best, on your own time - picking up trash outside, or even helping a friend move! It’s the giving of your time to someone or something other than yourself. Whatever National Volunteer Week means to you - get out there and do it!

Operation Troop Donation!

Help them out by donating and visiting their website!

 http://www.wix.com/operationtroopdonati/operationtroopdonation 

Youth Farm & Market Project

What could be better than spending the summer helping kids learn how to grow their own organic, sustainable produce and make delicious meals from it?  If you answered, “Probably nothing…”, then the Youth Farm & Market Project could be the perfect place for you to volunteer your time!

Founded in 1995, the Youth Farm & Market Project has successfully created programs in the Twin Cities that teach youth the importance of eating healthy foods and also the importance of sustainable agriculture.  Especially in the midst of a looming energy crisis, communicating the importance of these ideals could not be more paramount.  Having been through a few roommates in my time, I definitely know that even most college-age students are limited to cooking Mac & Cheese and frozen pizzas and never really learned how to cook delicious and nutritious meals using garden-grown produce.  Programs like this teach kids exactly how to do that, all in a fun environment that gives them something to do during the summer.

The Project works particularly with urban youth and helps them to realize that you don’t have to be on a farm to grow and cook your own food—you can even do it in the urban jungle that is the Twin Cities.  The Project has its strongest program over the summer, but also offers after-school programs during the school year, aided by a greenhouse that they constructed specifically for this purpose.  So, no matter the time of year, it’s always the perfect time to volunteer with Youth Farm & Market Project.  It’s definitely a win-win for everyone; and hey, who knows, you might learn some new things yourself!

http://youthfarm.net/employment-volunteering/

The Cookie Cart: Cookies With A Cause

Driving through North Minneapolis is not always the best experience, but it’s an area I was born in and recently moved back to now with my now expecting girlfriend.  We came across a sweet cookie shop off West Broadway while running errand.  The Cookie Cart.  If you’re looking to support any cause  - this is it.  It’s not only creating quality job opportunities for kids in the area, but providing them with skills for the future.  The cookies are awesome and the kids were all awesome and seemed to enjoy being there (another plus).  Go support, support, support this here: http://www.cookiecart.org/

Over 200 Hundred Opportunities to Volunteer in the Twin Cities? That is right. Check out the U of M's Service Learning partners here.