United Way of Greater Lafayette
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Current Volunteer Needs

Volunteer Needs Column 

January 4,  2013  

What's New This Week?

 Bauer Family Resources
This agency that strengthens family and children through its services is in need of Teen Court Volunteers. These adult volunteers will help teens through the legal process through direct service and mentoring. For more specific information, visit the volunteer opportunity page.

To sign up for this chance to help teens in your community, view the opportunity listed on the Volunteer Center website, email Lauren at lgilmore@bauerfamilyresources.org or call her at (765) 742-4848.


Start the New Year with NAMI-WCI

NAMI-WCI is an active health care provider by helping the mentally ill and their families. Volunteers are needed to be Office Assistants, who help with:
  • Office work
  • Mailings
  • Fundraising projects 

For more information about these needs and more, visit the Volunteer Center website page about NAMI-WCI, email Patti Wollenburg at pwollenburg@nami-wci.org, or call her at (765) 423-6939.


Imagination Station--Project Rejuvenation

The science exploration center is in need of volunteers to help refresh exhibits by creating new, eye-catching signage.

For more information about qualifications and time slots, visit the Volunteer Center website or contact Brian Bettag at  (765) 772-4700.

Still Needed

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 at cody@lafayettehabitat.org or call him at (574) 551-8887.

If interested in learning about more ways to get involved, contact Amy at the
United Way Volunteer Center or visit:
Calling all Animal Lovers  
Almost Home Humane Society has posted 15 volunteer opportunities to choose from: 
  • Canine/Feline Adoption Levels 1 & 2  
  • Canine/Feline Companion Levels 1 & 2 
  • Roadies
  • VIP Visitors, etc. 

To sign up for these opportunities, view them on the Volunteer Center website, email Sara at sara@almosthomehumane.org or call her at (765) 474-5222.


Need Assistance with Your Taxes?

VITA can help!


Tax season is rapidly approaching. If you have an annual income of $50,000 or less, VITA will prepare your taxes for FREE. This program starts January 15 & ends April 15.
VITA is specifically designed to aid people with low-to-moderate incomes in filing their taxes. Mobile sites at convenient locations are available to ease this process for you.
Schedule an appointment by clicking in the link on our website:
You may also schedule by calling or texting Jen Million at
 (574) 643-1012.
If you have any further questions about the VITA program, email
If you're really brave, you can file your own taxes online if your annual income does not exceed $57,000. Check it out on the tax website now!

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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9 Ways to Make Volunteering a Part of Your New Year

It's a brand new year and many of us have made resolutions to make our lives better in one way or another. volunteerWe hope your resolutions include working to make your community better, too! But where do you start? How do you make your community a better place? We have some tips to get started, and we'd love to hear about what you're doing!

1. Find a cause you care about.

This is the best first step, because if you're not connected to the work that you'll be doing, it's not going to be any fun. What do you care about most in your community? Do the local school systems need a little help? Are there a lot of stray animals in your neighborhood? Do you love the way your library smells and want everyone to be as excited about books as you are? Once you've found something in your community you'd like to make better, then...

2. Find a way to help.

One of the easiest ways to find a way to get involved in a cause that you care about it is to volunteer with an organization like United Way that's already supporting that cause.  You can volunteer for many amazing local organizations by going to United Way's website to find a role that's right for you.

3. Do a little research.

Spend a bit of time on the websites of the organizations that host the projects you're interested in. Find out how they support the causes you're interested in and learn about the work they do in your community. If you find a nonprofit you'd like to support and a way to support them that sounds fun, you can...

4. Sign up for a project!

Each of our affiliates has a way to sign up for projects on their site. They're not all the same, but it's really easy! Go to our Volunteer Center homepage to view, sign up, and comment on many opportunities in the community.

5. Remember it's OK to ask questions.

It's alright to ask questions about the project before you show up. Project listings should have a person to contact if you have any questions about what the project is about and how you need to prepare. A lot of questions are answered in the project descriptions, but if your question isn't, it's alright to get in touch with the event organizer so you're ready for the day when you show up!

6. Show up ready to have fun.

You're volunteering because there's a cause you care about, right? That doesn't mean you can't have a good time! The best way to make sure you'll have fun at your first volunteer experience is to go in with an open mind. You might be asked to do something different than what you signed up for, or you might be asked to something you don't know how to do. Keep an open mind and try it out, you might learn a thing or two, or find something you never thought you'd love to do! Volunteering can be serious business, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun.

7. Take time to reflect on your experience.

A lot of volunteer projects have some time set aside at the end of the project to think critically about the work that you just did. Reflecting on how working in a community garden can have an impact on the health of the local watershed or how it can influence kids to eat better is an important part of the volunteer experience. It doesn't just give you a definite stopping point for a project, but it helps volunteers to better understand how their work has multiple effects in their community. If you volunteered with United Way, consider writing a reflection on the organization's page to inform others of your experience.

8. Keep making a difference!

Did you have a great time volunteering? Did you make new friends? Did you learn something new? Awesome! Why not let us know?

Tell us about it on our Facebook page! Did you not quite fit with the project or organization? That's alright! There are a lot more organizations out there that need your help that could be a better fit for you. Was your first volunteer experience great?  Let us know in the comments section of the organization's page!

9. Pass it along.

Did you have a great time volunteering? Why not bring a friend along with you next time? Not only will it make sure you know someone at the project, but you'll be involving your friend in something you care about and making your community better! Plus there's a great opportunity to take cheesy pictures to share on Facebook!