Archive for the ‘Volunteering’ Category

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (August 11-17, 2014)

Monday, August 18th, 2014


The Disappearing Volunteer Firefighter.” By Andrew Brown and Ian Urbina. New York Times. August 17, 2014.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (May 12-18, 2014)

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014


Big Sunday Encourages Baby Steps To Volunteerism.” Morning Edition/National Public Radio. May 16, 2014.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (January 27-February 2, 2014)

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014


Taking a shine to volunteers: Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City starts a campaign to find male volunteers at shoeshine stands.” By Theresa Agovino. Crains New York Business. January 26, 2014.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (January 20-26, 2014)

Monday, January 27th, 2014


MLK Day of Service draws volunteers of all ages at the Oregon Food Bank.” By Emily Jan. Oregonian. January 21, 2014.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (July 2-8, 2012)

Monday, July 9th, 2012


Glendale wants volunteers to replace laid-off city naturalists.” No by-line. Los Angeles Times. July 1, 2012. Glendale officials are preparing to recruit volunteers to replace the naturalists the city laid off last year. The city has more than 5,000 acres of parks, but no one is patrolling the land to report damage and unsafe conditions or educate the public. But that is set to change by September. City officials plan to select about two dozen volunteers to make up hiking and mountain biking units of the new Trail Safety Patrol in coming months, the Glendale News-Press reported. “This will not be your average volunteer program,” as it will require training and a strong skill set, Community Services and Parks Director Jess Duran said at a City Council meeting last week. The city eliminated its naturalist program — made up of two full-time staffers and one part-time staffer — last June, citing an $18-million budget shortfall. The new volunteer program will be modeled after similar ones in the Santa Monica Mountains and Oakland’s East Bay Regional Park. City staff plans to find volunteers through referrals and environmental and recreational groups such as the Sierra Club and the Los Angeles-based Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Assn. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and do not have to live in Glendale, Stirdivant said. Each will be expected to work only about four hours a month, he said. Volunteers must go through a background check and city-designed training program that will include courses in first aid, park rules, park history, plants and animals, dealing with difficult people and working with public safety officials, officials said.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (April 23-29, 2012)

Monday, April 30th, 2012


“Senior volunteer honorees make communities better.” By Janice Lloyd. USA Today. April 20, 2012. Ira and Barbara Smith of Acton, Mass., have been gathering household goods since 1990 for people in need. When they heard about an El Salvadoran woman trying to furnish a home in Eastern Massachusetts, they put a notice in their church bulletin to see if anyone wanted to donate used furniture. That’s all it took. “We were drowned by the amount of items offered,” says Barbara Smith. She adds that they were able to furnish the woman’s two-bedroom apartment with everything she needed and more. The Smiths were hooked. Friday, they got a big thank you for founding Household Goods Recyling of Massachusetts, which has become one of the largest household assistance providers in New England. They volunteer there six days a week (They take off most Sundays). The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) and the MetLife Foundation celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Older Volunteers Enrich America Awards by honoring the top volunteers from the last decade with lifetime achievement awards. The Smiths traveled to Washington, D.C., to receive their award.


Monday, January 23rd, 2012


Agencies, citizens mark MLK Day with volunteer work.” No by-line. San Jose Mercury-News. January 16, 2012. On Monday, Peninsula residents and agencies celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by giving in various ways. Kaiser Permanente employees, along with their friends and family, volunteered to paint, garden and organize clothing at the Shelter Network home in Redwood City as part of their holiday day of service. Palo Alto held a day-of-service celebration at Lytton Plaza, at which families decorated jars to collect change, then donate them to a local charity listed by Youth Community Services.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (January 9-15, 2012)

Monday, January 16th, 2012


College grads make strides in nonprofit world; ‘Post-millennials’ take social service seriously.” By Miriam Kreinin. Crain’s New York Business. January 9, 2012. In 2008, after his sophomore year at New York University, Elie Lowenfeld went to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as an AmeriCorps volunteer to help rebuild after major flooding. While volunteering with hundreds of people from around the country, he was surprised that all the relief groups were Christian. Soon after—with the guidance of NYU’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life—Mr. Lowenfeld started a nonprofit called the Jewish Disaster Response Corp., which organizes Jewish volunteers to help out in disaster areas across the country. “After my first trip to Iowa, it became clear that I had to keep doing more,” said Mr. Lowenfeld, whose organization’s annual budget has grown to $187,000 from $10,000 in three years. “It changed my life.” He’s one of a growing number of idealistic students who are taking it upon themselves to fix problems they see in society and are starting their own nonprofits to do it. Their colleges are doing everything they can to help. “There’s been an incredible shift in this generation,” said Clifford Schorer, a professor at Columbia Business School. “Before, students wanted to work for McKinsey. Then everyone thought they had the 100 millionth idea for the Internet. Now kids have gone through down times and are thinking they want to be in control of their life and do something good for society.” A study by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement shows that between 80% and 85% of incoming college freshmen have community-service experience prior to starting their higher education. That’s up from 66% in 1989. Today’s teens also plan to be generous when they get older. More than 75% say they will give regularly to charity, versus 63% in 1989, according to the Girl Scout Research Institute. “This generation feels a responsibility to make a difference,” said Stan Rosenberg, a sophomore at NYU who started a charity called Trip of a Lifetime a few years ago to send low-income high-school students on teen trips. “We see people hurting with the recession and a period of war, and we are being educated at school about social impact.”

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (December 26, 2011-January 1, 2012)

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012


Volunteers to help patrol new marine sanctuaries; Some worry about a clash between environmentalists and fishing enthusiasts if violators are confronted by observers who hold no law enforcement authority.” By Tony Barboza. Los Angeles Times. December 31, 2011. Wardens won’t be the only people on patrol when new fishing restrictions take effect Jan. 1, setting up a network of state marine reserves on about 15% of the Southern California coast. Environmentalists are deploying dozens of volunteers to keep an eye on the region’s new Marine Protected Areas through a coalition of programs called MPA Watch. By boat, plane and from the shore, they will monitor fishing vessels, kayakers, divers and any other human activity in the new sanctuaries. And, in what is rankling fishermen, some of those monitors say they will confront suspected violators and report them to the state Department of Fish and Game. The prospect of citizen patrols has drawn the anger of some anglers who are already irritated about losing access to lucrative fishing areas. Critics of the reserves, which are intended to allow depleted populations of fish to recover, have eyed MPA Watch with suspicion, saying that the environmental groups behind them are trying to take law enforcement into their own hands. One group of recreational fishermen crashed a training session in Malibu organized earlier this year by Heal the Bay, a nonprofit environmental group based in Santa Monica. Heal the Bay and other conservation groups from Santa Barbara to Orange County say they will be another pair of eyes on the water, gathering data on all human uses of the coastline, not just fishing, to assess how behavior changes once the protections are in place.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (December 19-25, 2011)

Monday, December 26th, 2011


The Good Life; Saving the World—One Vacation at a Time; Our picks for the best in volunteer travel in 2012.” By Anne Tergesen. Wall Street Journal. December 19, 2011. Countless varieties of “voluntourism” trips have sprung up in recent years, combining travel with volunteer work. Baby boomers appear to be fueling much of the interest, says Doug Cutchins, co-author of “Volunteer Vacations: Short-Term Adventures That Will Benefit You and Others.” Boomers “have the time, the financial resources and the perspective to understand the moral reasons for using their skills to help others,” Mr. Cutchins says. Volunteering provides a way to gain deeper insight into a culture or habitat, says Michele Gran, co-founder of Global Volunteers, a St. Paul, Minn., nonprofit that arranges such trips. Volunteer vacations run the gamut from affordable jaunts to $30,000 luxury trips overseas. To get you started, we’ve identified 10 opportunities. Prices include food and accommodations but not airfare. Here’s your chance to do something unique in 2012—and make a difference in some small part of the world.