United Way of Greater Lafayette
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Volunteer Center
Current Volunteer Needs

Volunteer Needs Column 

December 14,  2012   


What's New This Week?

Help Sustain Habitat For Humanity 
Habitat For Humanity ReStore has several volunteer opportunities to choose from: 
  • Customer Service Associate
  • Donations Assistant
  • Exterior Maintenance
  • Product Preparation Assistant

If you would like to learn more about these opportunities, view them on the Volunteer Center website, email Cody cody@lafayettehabitat.org or call him at (574) 551-8887.

Help For Helping Others

When helping others, it's good to know what social services are available in the community. The Northwest Central Labor Council, in cooperation with the United Way, is offering a class that will provide this background. Preregistration is required. The program meets Wednesdays,6-9 p.m. for 10 weeks starting Jan. 16 at IBEW Local #668, 2535 S. 30th St., Lafayette. Cost: $50. For more information or to sign up, email Earl Cox, ecox@uw.lafayette.in.us or call 742-9077, Ext 231.

Still Needed

Help MHA Go Green
Mental Health America is in need of someone to take recyclables to Lafayette recycling center once or twice a month. Volunteers must provide own transportation and be able to lift up to 15 lbs. Help MHA be green and sign up today on the volunteer center website, email Jayme or call 742-1800.

Ring, Ring, Ring....Ring the Bell

With Christmas just around the corner, a familiar sound is the ringing of the Salvation Army Bells! Great family opportunity or by yourself, you can be a part of the tradition and help those in need at several locations in the Lafayette area.  

Visit www.RegisterToRing.com  or call 765-742-0006 to sign up for a shift or two.   

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

Happy Holidays from United Way Volunteer Center!

Second semester opportunities now available 
Read to Succeed Logo
Be a Part of the Action----READ!


With the start of the second half of the school year upon us, more volunteers are needed to fill some available opportunities to help our children with their reading.

Give one hour a week to improve reading scores in local Kindergarten - 4th graders.  Early reading skills are a key factor to academic success and high school graduation rates.

Sign up to become a Read to Succeed volunteer by visiting the website:

If you have any questions about the Read to Succeed program, email Amy O'Shea, aoshea@uw.lafayette.in.us or call her at 765-742-9077 x 244. 

Learn more about the United Way

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

Please forward this Volunteer Column.
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Remember the agencies as you are doing your holiday shopping!

Visit the Donation Exchange to find items you can donate.
If you do not have the time to volunteer, you can still help out by supplying items such as books, clothes, gift cards, matchbox cars, pacifiers, etc. to several of our local organizations who have listed needed items on the volunteer center website.
Stop in and make your shopping list!

Four Easy Ways to Add a Little Joy to Your Holiday Parties

  Christmas Sweater

It's that time of year again: the annual office holiday parties! Great, a day full of awkward socializing, lots of food, and buying presents for people you don't know very well. What could be better, right? Using this time to volunteer as an office instead of spending awkward quality time together!


"How can this happen?" you may be wondering. By turning your Secret Santa gifts into service donations!  


"Whoopee! Wait now what? How do I actually do this in my office?"


Easy, tell employees to bring a toy that they think their recipient would have liked as a kid. For example, bring in a football for that jock in your office, a Barbie doll for the fashionista, or a game of chess for the deep thinker. Once the gifts are exchanged, donate them to children in need! Not only does your office get to have a good laugh about the toys that they get, children also get to have an awesome Christmas thanks to your office donations!


Volunteering and donating to your office's favorite charities is a great way to make a solid bond between co-workers. Want some more ideas to keep this holiday spirit of giving up around your office? Look, we've got more!

  • Volunteer for your co-workers favorite organizations or causes: Send around an email asking co-workers to share where they like to volunteer or what they are passionate about. Make these ideas into a day of employee service. Choose a place close to the office and try to get all staff members to attend. Try closing the office that day so that your co-workers can reflect on the experience together. Nothing spells teamwork like volunteering as a team!
  • Make toys or decorations for your community members: Is there a retirement community in your area? A children or family shelter? They would love help with Christmas celebrations this year! Make cards or pictures so that they can decorate their walls with lots of holiday cheer. Make toys or assemble toys for families or children in need so that they can have an unforgettable Christmas! It is a great way to spark conversation among employees that will focus on something besides the stresses of work.
  • Make a donation to your company's favorite cause: Do you have spare change laying around your desk or in your pocket? Great! Donate it to those who need it more than your desk surface! Vote on a charity to make donations to and pass around a collection bucket to your employees at the Christmas party. After donations are received recruit employees to personally donate the money to the designated charity. Who knows, they may like this idea so much that it will become an office tradition!
  • Pick an ornament, give a gift: Put up a Christmas tree in the office with names and ages of children or families who may be struggling this holiday season. Get in contact with your local shelters to see who will sponsor this project. Employees can grab a name, buy, and wrap a present to put back under the tree. The presents will then get donated to the needy families. Not only will families get a better Christmas thanks to your company's presents, but your office will also be decorated with the tree and Christmas presents.

Volunteering is a great way to bring employees together because it is a way to collaborate on something other than work. When all employees feel passionate about the activity they are doing, they can build a more effective team.


Sounds better than your awkward office Secret Santa event or tacky sweater party? Great! Give back this holiday season, and build a more effective work team through volunteering!