United Way of Greater Lafayette
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Current Volunteer Needs


Volunteer Needs Column

July 29, 2011


8 Questions about  

volunteering in Schools 


Establishing a role inside the busy beehive of a school can confound even the best-intentioned volunteer. Where do you begin? How can I put my skills to use? The answers to these common questions will get you started.  


How can I help?


Whatever your talents and interests, there is a way for you to help. Could you see yourself starting a book club, assisting with science activities, helping in the computer lab, or tackling some paperwork in the office, for example?


Be prepared to be flexible, however: When you make contact with a school, you will learn how to match your preferences with their needs.   


Who do I approach with my intent to volunteer?  


You might start by attending a school board meeting, joining a community organization that works with schools, or approaching a principal or teacher directly. Some schools have volunteer positions listed with United Way of Greater Lafayette Volunteer Center.     


Would Mentoring be a good role for me?


Mentors are a special type of volunteer, dedicated to helping students on many levels: academically, socially, mentally, and physically. Mentors commit to becoming a consistent presence in a person's life, and serving as a positive role model. There are a lot of different ways to be a mentor, and finding your own personal style may take a bit of time.    


What if I am a busy person?


Even if you work long or irregular hours, or have young children at home, you can still find a way to volunteer. Think about what is possible for you: Could you commit to being at a school at certain times, work occasional week days or weekends, or find a way to make an impact from home? Then see whether your school of choice has a job that would meet your needs.

I don't know how to teach, can I still volunteer?   


Short answer: Yes! You can still be helpful by assisting teachers, or helping with sports or other activities. Or, if you prefer, you can support the school without working directly with children. Share your experience, and any concerns you might have, with the person coordinating your volunteer job. Schools want to place you were you feel the most comfortable and will make the greatest impact.


What are potential barriers?  


If you have spent any time in schools, you know they are busy places! Teachers and staff may need a helping hand, but not have time to stop and think about ways volunteers can support their work. You can lighten their load by first creating a list of your strengths and skills, then coming up with a few volunteer roles that would draw on these strengths.


What if students misbehave?


Always consult with the teacher or administrator if you are working with a student who might not listen or follow directions in a way that you would like. You will need to redirect negative behaviors to keep the students on task. Ask a teacher, administrator, or the school's volunteer coordinator about best ways to handle. 


How do I become a successful volunteer?  


There is not one "correct" way to become a volunteer. There are many points of entry and multiple ways to serve. You will find a path that suits you as well as your school of choice.

Do you have more questions about in-school volunteering? Contact United Way Volunteer Center today!


Information provided by HandsOn Network  


What's New This Week?   


Christmas is just around the corner!

Bauer Family Resources are looking for a Christmas Day Dinner Volunteer Coordinator for the annual Christmas Day Dinner in Lafayette. This dinner provides a meal to 3,000+ people each year and provides toys to the 500+ children in attendance. The Volunteer Coordinator will need to attend committee meetings beginning in September and monthly after that.This event is a tradition in our Lafayette community....please consider participating in a way that will impact so many lives! To volunteer, contact Lauren or call 742-4848.


Sharpen Those Pencils 

Salvation Army's "Tools for Schools" event is Saturday, August 13th and they are seeking volunteers to help students and their families obtain new school supplies for the first day of school and new/gently used school clothes. Volunteers are needed from 8 -11am or 10am - 1pm. For more information, leave a message via email to Eloise or call 742-0006 and she will return messages on Tuesday or Thursday mornings.


No Soccer Experience Needed!

McAllister Center are looking for volunteers to help teach soccer fundamentals to 4 and 5 year old children. Basic skills will be provided by head instructor. Practice will be August 1st, 3rd. 8th & 10th from 6pm - 7pm. if interested contact Chad or call him at 765-807-1362. 



If interested in learning about more volunteer opportunities, contact Amy at the United Way Volunteer Center or visit:


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We are looking to reach 250 "likes" by the end of Pacesetter Kick Off August 4th.

Please post to all your friends and family to like  United Way of Greater Lafayette


It's a great way of seeing what is happening here at United Way as well as this needs column posting every Friday!  


It is a great way to get your family and friends great volunteer opportunities!


Thank you! 


"When kids volunteer it tells others that they don't have to be perfect or famous or even grown up to make a difference." 


- Kalynn Dobos, age 7


Learn more about the United Way

Do you want to find out more about what the United Way of Greater Lafayette is all about? Visit the website


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Kids Planting a Tree

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"I believe in the spirit of sharing and I believe we are what we are because of those around us."


"I am what I am because of other people and they are what they are because of me being around."


" One hand cannot clap on its own but it needs the other hand to make a clap."  


"Many hands make light work."


~ Maasai tribal sayings  


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*On-Going Volunteer Needs*

Night Owls Needed

Lafayette Urban Ministry Homeless Shelter are seeking volunteers to spend the night. Volunteers take turns staying awake but are able to get 6 hours of sleep in the volunteer room. Hours needed: 8:30pm - 7am. Please visit website for training dates: www.lafayetteurbanministry.org   


Traveling Librarian

Tippecanoe County Public Library are seeking Library Link Volunteers. You will be paired with a home bound patron where you deliver and pick up books for them. Must be at least 18 years olf with a valid drivers license. Fore more information or to sign up, contact Sherri or call 765-474-5222 ext. 301.


Be a Light in Someone's Life

Serenity Hospice are in need of volunteers to visit with patients. You can be the light in someone's life for their remaining days or visit with the nursing home residents to help pass the time in their day. Training is provided. If interested, email Linda or call her at 446-9100.


Book Cycle Seeks Volunteers 

This is your change to assist pre-school children in selecting and exchanging books at Head Start and the Tippecanoe County Childcare Centers. Volunteers must be able to commit to ONE time slot each week for approximately 2 hours. (Thursday is 9-11AM or 1:30-3:30PM and Friday is 9-10:30AM) Please contact Colleen Reader or call 765-567-4088 for more information.  

Delivery Service Needed!  

Meals on Wheels is in need of people who are willing to donate a couple hours of their time either on a weekly or fill-in basis. You will need your own car to deliver meals to elderly and disabled recipients of the program. To volunteer contact  Nichole


Clothes, Clothes Everywhere!

Trinity Mission Outlet Store are looking for volunteers to help sort through clothes that they have at the store. They would like 20 or so volunteers to help for 4 - 5 hours. If interested contact Todd at 765-742-1060.  


Have a couple hours to give?

Caregivers Companions needs volunteers to visit, drive and help the elderly or ill in Tippecanoe County. If you would enjoy helping someone with transportation, errands, light housework, laundry, etc. we have quite a few situations in the area for you to choose from. Volunteers can give as many or as few hours as your schedule will allow.