Ferndale, Birmingham and Royal Oak are three of the more progressive communities in Michigan when it comes to trends and philosophies, and the concept of volunteering surely heads their list of good ideas.
In a shaky economy, paid jobs are a premium, and some organizations suffer when they are not able to pay people for help. Thus, volunteering is even more valuable to them. Sometimes the surrounding community seeks such work as a means to provide service, to get a foot in the door toward paying jobs, or as a bountiful social outlet. But if there was ever a time when volunteering is an important service, now is that time.
There is a wide variety of choice for volunteers, and many are year-round openings. See below for contact information on each of these.
Book lovers can approach the Ferndale Public Library, where the Friends of the Ferndale Library plan assorted projects, and the library is particularly hurting this year due to the massive flooding that occurred in November. Cleanup is still ongoing.
The Gerry Kulick Community Center reaches out to all people – including seniors and children – and needs energetic, focused people who can help with those programs and other duties. Various openings, even some employments, occur during the year for just such needs.
The St. James Christian Service can use help in many capacities: general hospitality, the men’s fellowship/women’s council, parish nurse program, Giving Tree winter assistance, homeless shelter, providing communion for the homebound and more. Volunteers are also needed who can crochet, knit and sew for shawls, hats, scarves and prayer blankets in a joint project with St. Mary’s of Royal Oak.
Schools are centers for myriad activities, and it takes a lot of adults to help pull that off throughout the year. Volunteers are still needed to help make this school year successful. Each of the schools in Ferndale has Parent Teacher Associations that serve as good contacts for volunteer opportunities at high/middle/elementary/magnet schools and for special education projects.
The Volunteer Connection through the Downtown Development Authority handles needs for the following groups: the Midwest AIDS Coalition, Ferndale Community Foundation, Affirmations, Ferndale Downtown Development Authority, FernCare and others. It is a good place to start for funneling into individual interests when donating time and effort.
Friends of the Ferndale Library
St. James Christian Service
Downtown Development Authority
Coming up on the second half of St. James’ Ferndale homemade blitz is St. Mary ‘s need for the same crocheted, sewn and knit items. In addition, a blanket for an annual raffle is under way and relies on handmade effort.
America Helping Heroes #2030 is ready for folks from “9 to 90” to help military forces and their families when they return to the U.S. – for one hour or many. They need any amount of help assimilating into life again, and the program provides that.
Embrace the Detroit Zoo and its mission while helping out where you can, from small animals to large and everything in between. There are as many things to learn as time to share, and the zoo needs your help.
Beaumont Hospital of Royal Oak goes on record as saying that its people are as fundamental as its healing mission, and welcomes volunteers in many capacities. With teamwork and personal respect among top human values that determine the hospital’s reputation and vitality, it welcomes community service.
The City of Royal Oak invites all to volunteer and can use help for everything from the Owl Hoot Walk to parades and other events and activities, along with having the headquarters with access to what other organizations potentially need.
St. Mary Parish Catholic Church
America Helping Heroes #2030
Detroit Zoological Society
Beaumont Hospital of Royal Oak
City of Royal Oak
There is an ongoing need in many cities for election inspectors – and these are also paid positions at $9 per hour as of November 2009. The days start early, include some pre-training and workers must be registered voters. But many retired people find it fits their lifestyle and timetable. Applications are downloadable.
If community input is where your heart is, consider signing on with one of the boards and commission – some of which pay – or become a parade volunteer. Parade activity forms are downloadable.
Even interns are welcome to help with volunteering at the Birmingham Historical Museum and Park, and there are many jobs available from time to time, including at the Allen and Hunter houses. They can include: docent, tour guide, administrative assistant to the museum director, preparation of exhibits, collection conservator (light cleaning, performing minor repairs, painting, documenting, researching, and establishing ideal storage of museum artifacts), archive and historical records assistant, registrar assistant, handy people for minor repairs, gardeners, historians/genealogists/history buffs.
The combined Birmingham/Bloomfield Community Coalition, or BB Community Coalition, used to operate on a grant, but due to economic losses, needs funding – as well as volunteers to meet its goals of steering young people away from substance abuse. This effort keeps kids busy and focused and community help is a vital part of any successes the group makes.
City of Birmingham Election Inspectors
City Commissions & Boards
Phone City Clerk’s Office for boards and commissions info: 248-530-1880 ; Laura Broski, Birmingham Parade Chairwoman for parade info: 248-530-1803
Birmingham Historical Museum & Park
BB Community Coalition
Website: w ww.bbcoalition.org/birmingham_bloomfield_community_coalition_donate.htm