Last month, I wrote part one of Volunteer Opportunities in Troy/Pike County, Alabama with newcomers to the area in mind. Actually, volunteering is something any citizen can do no matter how long they’ve been a resident in the area. Here are five more organizations that could use a few extra helping hands.
Reading in Kindergartens and Pre-Schools
For those who love children, Pike County is home to four public school kindergartens and four private school kindergartens, two Head Starts and numerous private child care centers. You say, what’s my point? Teachers and child care facilitators often seek the help of volunteers to come and read to their students. This is one of the tasks I enjoyed the most when I was a librarian. Even after I was no longer working at a library, I enjoyed volunteering to read to area kindergarten classes. If you don’t own hardly any K-friendly and pre-school books, Pike County is also home to two public libraries with a vast selection of colorful and fun children’s books. For contact information for area schools, call the Pike County Chamber of Commerce at 334-566-2294 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. School volunteers may be asked to submit to a federal background check.
Teaching Senior Citizens
The J.O. Colley Senior Complex in Troy (334-808-8500) offers senior adults 50 and over approximately 30 classes on a regular basis on everything from aerobics to Tai Chi. The Colley Complex gives senior citizens from all over Pike County the opportunity to learn something new in an atmosphere where senior adult wellness, creativity and independence are promoted. Most of the classes are free! After you’ve looked at their list of offerings, and if you see where you can enhance by offering classes, or if you want to start a new class, give them a call. You may just want to join some of the classes already offered.
Transportation Volunteers at Local Nutrition Centers
The Robert E. Barr Nutrition Center in Brundidge (334-735-3539), and the Lillian D. Green Nutrition Center in Troy (334-566-0201) are Pike County’s Nutrition and Program on Aging locations. They offer hot, nutritious meals five days a week to nutrition center participants as well as senior adults who are home bound. They also provide social, recreational, educational and cultural services to senior citizens. Nutrition centers are sometimes in need of volunteers familiar with the area that can deliver meals to the home bound. Transportation volunteers can also assist seniors 60 and over that don’t have their own transportation in getting to the centers.
Giving Blood, Getting Training
Volunteering isn’t limited to what you can do with your hands. Blood donors are needed all the time. The Pike County Branch of the American Red Cross/Central Alabama Chapter is always in need of blood donations of all types. The American Red Cross conducts blood drives throughout the area. To find out when and where the next blood drive will be, call the office at 334-566-0632 weekday mornings or 334-735-2004 evenings and on weekends. The American Red Cross also offers training in CPR and First Aid and Disease Prevention. Having training in CPR and first aid makes you a viable help in times when it matters the most.
Lastly, the Pike County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is training volunteers already in place around the county for disaster readiness. Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) is an alliance among volunteer groups trained and prepared to address all needs in an actual disaster. This disaster readiness includes large-scale emergency situations, such as industrial accidents, school bus accidents, tornadoes, chemical spills and flooding. In order to receive this training, you have to be an active member of the Red Cross or Salvation Army.
Getting involved in the community by volunteering is one way to show that you care about where you live. Pike Countians have so many needs to fill. There are many ways its citizens can contribute to make their hometown and county a great place to live.
The Wednesday, November 24, 2010 edition of The Messenger: EMA invites volunteers to training