Vail Daily column: Invest in the valley — volunteer
May 20, 2013
A while back I wrote an article talking about volunteers. I was so pleasantly surprised on how many people responded to not only me, but to the organizations that were mentioned. For those that stepped-up and offered your services and time, we all thank you greatly and appreciate your contribution to our great community.
I have tried unsuccessfully to collaborate with people in our community to establish a central volunteer network where people can both learn how and where they can provide help and ask for help. Our community has many fantastic opportunities and organizations providing volunteer programs and services. I would like to assist in getting the word out that our community is always in need of persons willing to offer their time, services, donations and heart.
Volunteering is a great way to further a cause, support an organization and make a difference in our community.
It can also be an opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills. If you'd like to give something besides money (which is always needed), consider lending your time and talents to organizations that are important to you. The nonprofit/volunteer sectors cannot take the place of government programs, nor can it single-handedly cure the ills and disparities of society. But each of us can make a difference in a small way, in our own sphere, and can find ways to help that will make our efforts worth the time and trouble we invest in them.
When my daughter was born, many complications were encountered. Within a few short hours of her birth, and without my wife having an opportunity to hold her, she was placed in a medically induced coma and taken to Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center. We were new parents and panicked to say the least. Soon, exorbitant medical bills followed. A friend at the hospital suggested asking the Vail Valley Charitable Fund for assistance. We were met with a sympathetic ear and a financial donation. Our thanks to them goes beyond words. When a close friend's wife was diagnosed with cancer, my friend humbled himself and reached out to the community. He was met with an outpouring of assistance and support. Organizations here in the valley not only helped with moral and emotional support, but took it upon themselves to arrange a fundraiser to help with medical bills.
Without the help of our valley's organizations and those willing to offer themselves, we would be just another community. Instead, we are a rich and giving community acting as a "village," raising our children and offering of ourselves. Numerous organizations exist here in the Eagle Valley that thrive because local people commit their talents and time to these causes. The opportunities for you to find something to devote your energy toward are endless. I encourage you to contact any of these groups and volunteer!
If you would like help with direction on where, or what you can do to volunteer, please contact me via email or telephone. If you are inclined, to make a donation, I can help provide what information I can about organizations (nonprofits) that can definitely use your contributions. For those wanting to make anonymous donations, I have spoken to two local banks that will provide free cashier's/bank checks.
If you, or a community group that you are involved with, may have persons looking for volunteer opportunities, please let me know and I will add your name and/or group to a list to be provided to persons and organizations that need assistance.
Below I have provided information on some of the organization that I have personal familiarity with and know their need. However, there are so many more fabulous ones here in the valley.
Vail Valley Charitable Fund
Could you make a financial donation that would provide monetary relief to others within our valley?
Goal: To continue to raise funds by events, grants, and corporate and individual donations, raise community awareness, engage more volunteers in this worthwhile cause, and continue to help people in need in the community.
Contact name: Anyone and everyone there, 970-524-1480.
Eagle Valley Senior Life, Inc.
Would you like to assist seniors and their families?
Organizational mission statement: To support the seniors and their families in Eagle County
Contact name: Bev Christiansan, 970-977-0188.
HomeCare and Hospice of the Valley
Would you like to assist patients and their families in need at a critical point in their lives?
Hospice volunteers provide all kinds of support for. Volunteers in hospice find it personally gratifying, intellectually stimulating and emotionally meaningful to assist those in need at a critical point in their lives. Many of volunteers were introduced to hospice through the death of a family member and understand firsthand the value of hospice care. If you feel that you may find this rewarding, please call HomeCare and Hospice of the Valley.
Contact name: Ruth Walker, 970-569-7455.
Organizational mission statement: To improve the quality of life for patients and their families who are facing a life-limiting illness by addressing physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
The Literacy Project
Are you a teenager looking to help children?
Contact name: Colleen Gray, executive director, 970-949-5026.
Organizational mission statement: To provide literacy education to the Eagle County community.
Reading Buddies-The Literacy Project works in collaboration with the Eagle Valley public libraries to pair teens and elementary age children. The purpose of Reading Buddies is to provide a leadership, responsibility and community service opportunity by facilitating high school mentors to help foster a love of reading in elementary school students.
Vail Valley Salvation Army
Would you like to help the community and person "who've hit a rough patch?"
Contact name: Tsu Wolin-Brown, 970-748-0704.
Description: Provide assistance to hundreds of families and individuals every year who are in financial need or are involved in emergency situations.
Eagle County Senior Meals & Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)
Would you like to help provide meals or provide transportation to our valley's seniors?
Contact name: Carly Rietmann, 970-328-8896.
Description: RSVP support transportation services for residents older than the age of 60 as well as disabled adults. Senior Meals: Serves more than 10,000 meals to seniors and disabled adults each year in Eagle County.
A variety of volunteer opportunities are available from daily, weekly, once a month, to a one-time only. Please, I implore you, help someone in need. Seek out an organization and tasks within it that suit your skills and interests.