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Archive for Sunday, August 12, 2012

How to Help: VNA has wide range of opportunities

August 12, 2012

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Visiting Nurses Association is need of volunteers for several opportunities. All volunteer positions require individuals who are caring, flexible and comfortable working with seniors. Volunteers work directly with hospice patients in home settings or care facilities by providing direct support and companionship to them through their hospice experience. No medical knowledge is required, but mandatory hospice training will be provided, and a minimum one year of service is required of all Hospice Patient Companions. If you’re a dog lover, consider working with Barney, the therapeutic companion dog who loves to visit nursing home patients. The Canine Companion volunteer is needed to take Barney on once-weekly visits to Brandon Woods on Monday or Friday. Volunteer massage therapists are also needed for one-time or regular once-weekly massage visits with hospice clients. Adequate training and experience in massage therapy is needed, as well as comfort working around patients’ physical restrictions and understanding of contraindications. For more information about any of these opportunities, contact Sarah Rooney at 785-843-3738 or sarahro@kansasvna.org.

Other immediate needs

• Van Go Inc. is seeking volunteers for the Fall JAMS Session, which starts Sept. 17 and runs for eight weeks. JAMS is a job training program where teens, ages 14-18, learn essential job and life skills while producing works of art. Volunteers are asked to commit a minimum of one day per week to work directly with teens onsite, from 3 to 6 p.m. Two volunteers are also needed to provide transportation from Lawrence High School and Free State High School. A volunteer orientation will be held at the end of August, at a date to be announced later. Contact Lindsay Ritscher at 785-842-3797 or lindsay@van-go.org for further details.

• The Lawrence Humane Society is in need of volunteers to provide foster homes for shelter animals. Many animals come to the shelter too young, too small or not healthy enough for adoption yet, and they need extra care before being adopted. No experience is required, and volunteer foster parents will be provided with all the supplies needed to take care of the animals. All potential foster homes must complete a Foster License Request through the Kansas Animal Health Department, which includes a $10 fee that is paid to the Health Department. For more details about upcoming orientations, contact Maggie Cargill at 785-843-6835 or maggie@lawrencehumane.org.

• Big Brothers Big Sisters says summer is the perfect time to get involved with its Bigs in Schools program and become a mentor to a child. Many people think they don’t have time to be a Big Brother or Big Sister, but you may be surprised to learn that it only takes an hour a week to volunteer in the school-based program. It is a great way for busy people to make a long-lasting impact in the life of a child. The school-based program pairs volunteers with at-risk students in the community, providing the opportunity for homework help, game playing and more. The “Big” and “Little” meet at the child’s school during the lunch hour or after school for about an hour once a week. Currently, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves children in all the public elementary and middle schools in Lawrence. There are just under 100 children in the program with about 25 still waiting to be matched. Sign up to be a Big now and help a child start the school year right. For information, call 785-843-7359 or check out www.douglas.kansasbigs.org. Orientation sessions are held at BBBS Offices, 536 Fireside Ct. Suite D, each week at 5 p.m. Tuesdays at noon Wednesdays, and are open to the public with no appointment necessary.

For more volunteer opportunities, contact Shannon Reid at the United Way’s Roger Hill Volunteer Center, at 785-865-5030 or volunteer@rhvc.org, or go to www.volunteerdouglascounty.org.

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