United Way of Greater Lafayette
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Current Volunteer Needs


Volunteer Needs Column

April 6, 2012   


             What's New This Week?

Tree Lafayette Arbor Day 2012

Two hundred volunteers are needed to plant at least 71 trees at the sites of this year's Arbor Day-Jefferson High School and Tecumseh Junior High School.  The event is an excellent activity for families to do together, and families are encouraged to attend and volunteer. Register online at  http://tinyurl.com/tree-lafayette-arbor-day or email Matt Green at mgreen@heritage-interactive.com or visit www.treelafayette.org for more information.  


Let's Clean Up the City!    

Clean Sweep -  City of Lafayette is Saturday, May 19th from 8:30am - 12pm. EVERYONE can participate and get the chance to win the "Traveling Trophy". The group that collects the MOST TRASH will have their name added to the Clean Sweep Trophy and displayed at City Hall. Pre-register and get a T-shirt by Friday, May 4th. If interested in Clean Sweep, call Cindy Murray at 807-1021


COMpanion + PEER = Compeer!

Compeer is a mentoring program that matches trained adult volunteers with persons recovering from a mental health challenge. Friends spend 4 hours a month together doing fun activities they both enjoy. If you can be a friend, you can be a Compeer volunteer! Men are especially encouraged to apply! Email Jayme or call 765-742-1800.


Usher, Then See the Concert  

The Lafayette Symphony is performing its Chaconne Fantastique concert on Saturday, April 14, 2012 with Guest Artist local guitarist Chaconne Klaverenga. We are looking for volunteers to help take tickets and to help usher. Once the concert starts, you may stay and watch the performance or you are free to leave. Concert starts at 7:30pm. Volunteers would need to be at the Long Center by 6:30pm. If interested, sign up on Volunteer Center website or call Rockie at 765- 742-6463 Great Group Event!


Be a part of F.A.S.T.

F.A.S.T. Miller Team are in need of volunteers on Tuesday evenings from 5 - 8pm. Families and Schools Together is an eight week program at Miller Elementary School. F.A.S.T. was developed to help parents become more involved in the lives of their children through family relationship management, improved parent-child bonding, and stimulating parental empowerment. Volunteers will interact with families by helping with serving of dinner and kids time. Help is needed for the remaining 5 weeks of the program. If interested, email Amy or call 765-742-9077 x 222.   

  *Still Needed*

Lace up your shoes!

The YMCA and Junior Achievement are sponsoring a mud run at Ross camp on April 29th. Volunteers are needed from 8am - 12pm and 12 - 4pm. Volunteers will be responsible for registration, parking, water stations, directing runners on course and course clean-up. If interested email Julie or call 474-3448. Great group project!

If interested in learning about more volunteer opportunities, contact Amy at the  

United Way Volunteer Center or visit:



Hats Off to Volunteers!
16th Annual Volunteer
Recognition Luncheon

Last Chance to Nominate an Outstanding Volunteer!

April 18th at 11:30am

The Trails Banquet Facility

325 Burnett Road  

West Lafayette, IN


Cost: $8 per person 


Celebrate your volunteers by joining us for lunch and awards.
Nominate your outstanding volunteers by April 6th on the
 LOT image
Leaders of Tomorrow registration now open!


Session I - June 4th - June 29th

Session II - July 2nd - July 27th


Parents, do your children need something constructive and fun to do during Summer Break?


If your child is between the ages of 11 - 15 they can sign up to do volunteer work with selected agencies here in our community.



 - Learn positive values, leadership, communication, citizenship and personal responsibility.

- Become an active member in our community.

- Become empowered as a learner, teacher, achiever and leader to make a difference.

- Develop teamwork skills and the ability to work with diverse groups.

- Learn essential job and life skills.


To apply for the Leaders of Tomorrow Summer Program email Amy at United Way Volunteer Center  

or apply online at  www.uwlafayettevolunteer.org today!


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How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. 
~Anne Frank

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Helping Others Makes Us Happy


Volunteering and helping our fellow man has long been seen as an altruistic thing to do. But more selfish motives-pleasing friends, doing what you want-are more successful causes of effective volunteering! Regardless of motive, volunteering improves the health, happiness, and in some cases, the longevity of volunteers. Children who volunteer are more likely to grow up to be adults who volunteer. Even unwilling children who are forced to volunteer fare better than kids who don't volunteer. Communities with lots of volunteers are more stable and better places to live, which in turn further boosts volunteerism.


"On one hand, it's striking that volunteering even occurs," says Mark Snyder, a psychologist and head of the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society at the University of Minnesota. "It seems to run against the strong dynamics of self-interest. There is simply nothing in society that says that someone is mandated to help anyone else." Yet 1 in 3 adults do meaningful volunteer work on a sustained basis, he notes, and the United States has one of the world's highest rates of volunteerism.


"People who volunteer tend to have higher self-esteem, psychological well-being, and happiness," Snyder says. "All of these things go up as their feelings of social connectedness goes up, which in reality, it does. It also improves their health and even their longevity."


Among teenagers, even at-risk children, who volunteer reap big benefits, according to research findings studied by Jane Allyn Piliavin, a retired University of Wisconsin sociologist. She cites a positive effect on grades, self-concept, and attitudes toward education. Volunteering also led to reduced drug use and huge declines in dropout rates and teen pregnancies.


Most people say they value volunteering because it's "the right thing to do," among other altruistic reasons. But the strongest drivers of successful volunteers are actually more self-focused. There are five main reasons people volunteer:


  • Understanding: the desire to learn new things and acquire knowledge.
  • Esteem enhancement: feeling better about yourself and finding greater stability in life.
  • Personal development: acquiring new skills, testing your capabilities, and stretching yourself.
  • Sense of community: making the world, or your piece of it, a better place.
  • Humanitarian values: serving and helping others, often with a strong religious component.


People often get into volunteer work because a friend asks them, and that can be a fine entry point. But people should also do some work to make sure the organization is a good fit for their interests and that the work they would be doing is also a good fit. Be sure to ask "what's the optimal match for me?"


Further, if there is a jumble of factors motivating people to consider volunteering, they might want to reconsider. When people have multiple motivations, it is harder for them to be satisfied. Experts say it is easier to derive happiness when your goals are simpler.


Concern for others and concern for yourself can complement one another. Find a way to do good for others at the same time as you do good for yourself. Have you made volunteering a part of your social life?

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