There is nothing more satisfying than helping those in need, and there is always something that needs to be done here in Lexington, KY. It’s so easy to get involved and make a positive difference in someone’s life. We might not always have money to give, but our time is just as valuable. If we all come together to help make our community a better place, we will all benefit. Whether you want to get involved, your children, grandchildren, etc., there is something for everyone. Volunteer work is an excellent idea for teenagers as they will gain valuable work skills and experience that will help them build their future. You may be surprised at just how many organizations need help. Whether you want to make a commitment, or just help when you can, anything you can do is greatly appreciated. Here are some volunteer opportunities I am familiar with, please check them out and help make Lexington a better place!
The Lexington Humane Society is the perfect place for teens 14 and older to volunteer. I couldn’t wait to turn 14 so I could help take care of the animals and learn about the shelter. The Lexington Humane Society (LHS) advocates the compassionate treatment of animals; educates the community on responsible, lifelong pet ownership; and promotes adoption as the best option when searching for a new pet. You will learn how the shelter operates, what it takes to keep it running smoothly, and what you can do to help. You must be at least 14 years old, abide by shelter rules, attend an orientation session, and commit to a minimum of 4 hours a month for at least 4 months. There are several fun and rewarding tasks that include shelter greeting, office work, helping with special events like the Beastie Ball, Mutt Strut, etc, being a Doggie Bank delegate, or Pet partner (walking the animals). There is a separate orientation for ages 14-17, and pre-registration is required. Their community service volunteer tasks include gardening, sweeping, mopping, folding laundry, cleaning animal crates and cages, painting, maintenance, and helping with animal food and supply drives. I had the chance to do a little of everything and loved it. If you’re an adult that wants to get involved you can apply online, and if your availability and interests match what they have available, they will give you a call and get you set up to attend a training class. This class will teach you about safety procedures, how pet adoptions work, animal behaviors, and other important information. For more information on how to get started, visit their website and contact them today! adoptlove.net
Central Baptist Hospital is located in Lexington, KY, and their mission is to provide quality compassionate care, consistent with their Christian heritage. They have a wonderful volunteer program for teens and/or adults. If your child is considering entering the medical field, this is a terrific introduction to the hospital environment. You will work in multiple departments completing several tasks including office work, delivering flowers, escorting patients, helping on nursing units, helping at the child development center, and working in the gift shop. There is plenty to do, and they greatly appreciate it. They have a special VolunTeen program during the summer when teenagers ages 14-18 can come and work in various departments while school is out. It looks great on a college application, and shows them how every department works together for the patient’s benefit. You can apply online whether you’re a teen or an adult, and they will help you get started. The application period for the Summer VolunTeen program in 2011 will be February 11, 2011 through May 1, 2011, and adults can apply online at any time. Once you’ve applied, you’ll receive a phone call to set up an appointment. There you will be able to discuss your schedule and positions that interest you. If you’ve been a patient at Central Baptist and want to give back, this is the perfect opportunity. Visit their website to get more information and fill out an online application today! centralbap.com
The Salvation Army of Lexington, KY, provides social and spiritual support to our community, and helps to transform lives. They are committed to serving the person as a whole, and that includes body, soul, and spirit. Whether you need a warm place to sleep, food, clothing, rent, utility, or holiday assistance, they are there to help. They have several centers that need volunteers no matter what time of the year, but they also have special holiday drives you can get involved with as well. You can make a positive impact that can change someone’s life for the better. In the Food Pantry (Mon-Fri/9am-12pm) you can stock and organize shelves, pack food bags, or organize your own food drive. You can help hang clothes and organize the Clothing Center (Mon-Fri/9am-4pm). My particular favorite is the Emergency Shelter. Here you can help serve lunch/dinner, help with the dishes, teach a class (life skills, computer, education, etc.), or volunteer to help organize a donation drive. They are in need of many sanitary items, paper, blankets, pillows, etc. At the Early Learning Center you can volunteer to read to children, another personal favorite, and help keep everything organized. They also need help with their Emergency Disaster Services. This is the only type of work that requires you to be on call and attend training sessions. Those duties would include driving the Emergency Mobile Kitchen, cooking and serving the meals from the Mobile Kitchen, and assisting with the day to day operation of the Emergency Shelter. You don’t have to make any commitments if you don’t feel comfortable, just come in and help when you’re able! Visit their website for more information; you can help make a positive difference in a person’s life! salvationarmylex.org
If you or someone in your life has been affected by cancer, you might want to look in to volunteering at The American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Lexington, KY. They provide free private overnight lodging for cancer patients and their caregivers, something that gives much needed comfort during this stressful time. It’s an amazing facility that features 32 private guest rooms (each with their own television and bathroom), a community dining room with fully equipped kitchen, a laundry room stocked full of supplies, free parking, free wireless internet, a family recreation room, exercise room, beautiful patio area with grill off the dining room, and free shuttle transportation to and from their treatment centers. As you can see, they do quite a bit for these families and need all the help they can get. Some of the volunteer work includes working the Registration desk, checking in patients and their families, provide tours, help with daily operations, drive the shuttle bus, and help provide meals and entertainment. If you have a special talent or skill, look into providing entertainment for the families. They are friendly and flexible, and will work with any schedule. This is an excellent opportunity to help those going through a tough time; even just good conversation can help make a difference. Visit their website to learn more about this amazing facility! 5.cancer.org
The Lexington VA Medical Center’s mission is to provide comfort and care to America’s Veterans. We should all show our appreciation for their service and honor them any way we can. Again, good, caring conversation can make a huge difference in someone’s life. There are many volunteer opportunities available here; some include patient transportation where you work from a dispatch room and push patients in wheelchairs or stretcher to and from their medical appointments within the medical center, drive their donated vans to help transport veterans to scheduled appointments that don’t have transportation, provide social support to families who are waiting for their veterans to have surgery, assist nursing staff, fill water pitchers, hand out personal items, escort patients from the unit, make appointment reminder calls, work the information desk to assist veterans and visitors, provide administrative support by answering phones, picking up mail, filing, or collecting comment cards and putting them into a spreadsheet. If you are interesting in helping these wonderful patrons of our community, they hold volunteer orientation sessions that last about an hour and a half, and you will receive information about the VA, the medical center, all of the available volunteer options, and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. For orientation location and session times/dates, please refer to their website. You can read more information about the care they provide, and other ways to get involved. Check them out!! lexington.va.gov
There are many more opportunities in Lexington, KY, just call around to any local charity that interests you to see what you can do. If we all help out, we will see a positive difference in the entire community. Happy volunteering!