Local organizations offer a variety of volunteering opportunities | CraigDailyPress.com

Local organizations offer a variety of volunteering opportunities

Bridget Manley

Tips for resolving

to volunteer more

• Know how much time you have to commit

• Look for something you’re interested in

• Know what specific duties you’d be taking on

• Make sure the agency or organization has a need for volunteers

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Source: Corrie Ponikvar, Moffat County United Way executive director

Volunteering, in this generation at least, can be tough.

“I think that as long as people’s lives are as hectic and busy : I think we’re always going to struggle with having enough volunteers,” said Corrie Ponikvar, Moffat County United Way executive director.

However, she believes that carving out a few hours in a busy schedule to volunteer with a local agency pays off.

“I think there can be a lot of gratification from volunteering,” she said.

Residents who plan to make increased volunteering their New Year’s resolution can start taking steps toward that end by evaluating how much time they could commit to a local nonprofit agency.

Then, Ponikvar suggested, residents should look for organizations that clearly have defined tasks, have demonstrated a need for volunteers and capture their interest.

Potential volunteers can contribute as many hours as they are able, local agency administrators said, as long as they’re willing to help out.

“If someone is a sincere and capable person, I could keep them busy for at least 20 hours a month,” said Evelyn Tileston, Independent Life Center executive director.

However, Tileston added, the ILC welcomes help from volunteers who could commit to only a couple of hours a month.

The ILC provides services for residents with multiple disabilities, including those involving vision, hearing, mobility and cognition. Lending a hand at the organization could include shopping with clients or helping them pay their bills.

The ultimate goal of the organizations can be summed up in one word: Independence.

Horizons Specialized Services, which focuses on residents with developmental disabilities, also has room for a few good volunteers.

Tasks range from taking clients out on a skiing trip to coaching or helping organize the annual Special Olympics.

“(Special Olympics) is a big area where volunteers are greatly appreciated,” said Deb Kirby, Horizons day program coordinator, adding that residents can sign up to coach or help organize the event.

In her view, the payoffs of volunteering at Horizons are the people.

“By being around folks like this, you get to enjoy their company and you get to be a help to them,” Kirby said. “That makes you feel good.”

Love INC of the Yampa Valley, a clearinghouse for local churches, could be a good fit for congregation members.

“We mostly do use volunteers from the churches,” Executive Director Pat Jones said.

Activities vary, depending on residents’ needs, and can include helping local senior citizens or doing clerical work at the organization’s main office.

“Just about anything that would be comfortable for people, we have that available,” Jones said.

Volunteers can choose how much they want to volunteer with the organization. Time commitments can range from three to 150 hours a month.

Residents who want to help the furry and the four-legged can volunteer with the Humane Society of Moffat County.

The organization transfers unwanted animals from Bear Creek Animal Hospital to larger shelter facilities across the state.

Humane Society officials have said previously that space at Bear Creek is limited, which necessitates transfers to area shelters.

The group looks for “people who have a passion for helping the animals that can’t help themselves,” Treasurer Carol Scott said, adding that volunteers can sign up for a couple hours a month or more.

Regardless of how long they have to give, residents stand a chance to help.

“Know always if they can only volunteer an hour or two a week or a month – whatever it is, it’s still a huge benefit to our community,” Ponikvar said.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or bmanley@craigdailypress.com

Tips for resolving

to volunteer more

• Know how much time you have to commit

• Look for something you’re interested in

• Know what specific duties you’d be taking on

• Make sure the agency or organization has a need for volunteers

Source: Corrie Ponikvar, Moffat County United Way executive director