March is a wonderful time of year for celebrations! As you enjoy Purim and Reading Month with your family and friends, please also consider joining one of the following volunteer opportunities.
Look out for literacy-centered events this month. The United Way states: “Research shows that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for eventual reading success, a key factor for success in school, work, and life. When an adult reads aloud to a child, both parties have a fun and rewarding experience that instills a love of reading, enhances literacy skills, and boosts a child’s confidence.”
Brilliant Detroit currently looking for volunteers to support March is Reading Month. Volunteers are needed to support literacy-focused events during the day throughout the month. At Brilliant Detroit, they believe literacy is an important component of a child’s success. Each site offers unique programs and has different volunteer needs. Events include helping with literacy game stations and reading aloud for small groups. Visit https://brilliantdetroit.galaxydigital.com to find opportunities that are right for you, or email [email protected] with questions.
Read Aloud United Way Mentoring Program, which serves four schools in Pontiac and Detroit through one-on-one mentoring, is looking for volunteers. Adults serve as reading mentors to students in grades K-4 at a local school during their lunch time. The aim is to instill a love of reading and provide social-emotional support. Mentor present 30-
minute reading sessions with their students once a week or every other week until the end of the school year. Virtual opportunities are available at some schools, so ask if they interest you. All volunteers will attend an information and training session prior to starting the program. To register, visit https://liveunitedsem.galaxydigital.com/need/detail/?need_id=359289.
Yad Ezra needed an extra hand to help with the packing and distribution of Easter food. On March 19th, there are two packing shifts offered: 9-11am and 11am-1pm On March 26th and 27th, there are several shifts available to distribute Easter packages to clients in the Passover drive. Clients would come to Yad Ezra and receive a box of food for their seder that matched the size of their family. To register, visit https://volunteer.yadezra.org. Background check required.
Revamped Life hosts LIT Fridays on the fourth Friday of each month from 4-8 p.m. at the Durfee Innovation Society in Detroit. LIT Fridays is a monthly youth and family engagement event planned and implemented by the Life Remodeled Youth Alliance (LRYA), a group of students who attend Durfee Middle School and Central High School and advise Life Remodeled on the Durfee Innovation Society program. They implement the LRYA plan and execute all aspects of the monthly event including logistics, marketing, budgeting, decoration, public speaking, etc.
Examples of these events include Thanksgiving Dinner + Movie Night, Holiday Pajama Jam, Vision Board Party, Black History Month Bingo, Easter Egg Hunt, Silent Disco, etc.
Volunteers will help with set up/tear down, food service, registration, facilitating arts and crafts, monitoring youth in activities like bounce houses, etc. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old, and volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. To register or learn more, contact [email protected] or (313) 774-3052, ext. 1003.
Jewish Family Service are looking for individuals who are interested in donating their time in some way. iPad volunteers will be paired with JFS clients once a week for one hour for 8-10 weeks. Volunteers will teach basic iPad skills and enhance older adults’ technology knowledge so they can communicate better with family and friends to reduce feelings of isolation.
Next, the Friendly Visiting Volunteer is paired with a live-in adult JFS client who is looking for companionship and support. Visits can take place at home or volunteers can choose to take clients out for lunch, grocery shopping, or other activities. This is a once-a-week commitment of one hour (or two to four hours for volunteers taking clients into the community).
Lastly, JFS, partners with Jewish Chaplaincy and Hospital Network, is seeking volunteers to provide comfort and companionship to chronically and terminally ill individuals and their families. No experience is required as training will be provided prior to matching. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, contact Jewish Family Services Volunteer Coordinator Alyah Al-Azem at [email protected] or (313) 662-5687.
The Forgotten Harvest always looking for volunteers in his Oak Park shed. Volunteers will help pack emergency food boxes, repackage or sort fresh, nutritious food to be distributed through Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.
This opportunity takes place from 09.00-16.00. To participate, Forgotten Harvest asks volunteers to wear long pants, closed shoes, and leave jewelery at home. Volunteers must be at least 12 years old. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. To discover these and other opportunities in Forgotten Harvest, visit https://forgottenharvest.galaxydigital.com/need.
If your organization is looking for volunteers, please email Samantha Foon at [email protected] for possible inclusion in a future column.