Whether you’ve lived in Baltimore your whole life or if you’re new to the area, it’s time to get involved. Baltimore prides itself as a place that takes care of its own, and that means volunteerism. Regardless of your skill set or time constraints, you’ll find something that will allow you to give back to the community. This is the first in a series of volunteer opportunities available in the Baltimore area:
Baltimore Child Abuse Center. Address: 2300 N. Charles St., 21218; Phone: 410-396-6147; Web site: www.bcaci.org; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BCAC helped more than 1,000 children in 2009. Its mission is to conduct extensive forensic interviews for cases of child sexual abuse reported in Baltimore City.
According to the BCAC Web site: ” Every action, no matter how small, makes a difference in the lives of a child and their family dealing with child abuse.”
BCAC has many needs: Greeter, Child care assistance, Art donations, food donations and special events. BCAC sponsors many unique fundraising events designed to be both profitable for the Center and fun for participants. For example, in August, BCAC hosted its first wagon race that had participants racing in tricked out wagons. Music, vendors and food were part of the day. So, if you can’t commit to a regular gig, BCAC is always in need of people to get involved with the special events. Download a volunteer application from the BCAC Web site.
Alternative Directives, Inc. Address: 2505 North Charles St., 21239; Phone: 410-889-5072, Jennifer Turral; Email: email@example.comWeb site: www.alternativedirectionsinc.org.;
Alternative Directives, Inc. focuses on children whose parents are incarcerated. The Web site says it best: “Spending just one hour a week for one year with a child can make a huge difference in a child’s life so don’t just think about it, do it.”
The program seeks mentors who will commit to a year of meeting with a child for at least twice a month. You’ll provide positive feedback and be a listening ear, among many other things. Mentors will be trained.
Education Plus. Address: 416 Drury La., 21229; Phone: 410-233-6419; Email: Educationplus1@verizon.net; Web site: www.educationplusbb.org.
If you have a computer expertise, Education Plus has a special program operating out of the New Waverly Methodist Church on Greenmount Ave. It’s a good way for you to share your knowledge with children eager to soak it up. If that doesn’t suit your needs, look at the other volunteer needs for the organization.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Baltimore Green Works. Address: 5603 North Charles St., 21210; Email: form available on Web site; Web site: www.baltimoregreenworks.com.
This organization has only one year-round employee. Everyone else works on a volunteer basis. If you can’t help with a specific event, your services are helpful in many other areas: Event Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, Donation Coordinator, Public Outreach Coordinator and Internet Information Coordinator, among others.
On Oct. 27, 8 a.m.-5 pm., Baltimore Green Works is holding its first annual Art Auction to raise money to provide public programming on environmental sustainability for Baltimore City residents. Volunteers are needed to set up chairs, place the art and the like, then clean up after the event.
Walters Art Museum. Address: 600 N. Charles St., 21201; Phone: 410-547-9000; Web site: http://thewalters.org.
The Walters provides free admission to the Museum, but sustains that by charging tickets for special events and recruiting Museum members. If you have a customer service personality, The Walters will make use of you in its Box Office. Volunteers agree to serve one day a week for a year, and you’ll determine your day.
Jazz for Peace. Phone: 212-947-1104; Web site: www.jazzforpeace.org.
Pres. Barack Obama has honored Jazz for Peace saying: “Jazz for Peace continues its mission of challenging humanity to realize that the forces that unite us are far stronger than the forces that divide us.”
If you are action oriented and know how to lead, Jazz for Peace will gladly make use of your talents. This national organization seeks people who want to set up events and coordinate activities in Baltimore. Among your options: Coordinate a Jazz for Peace concert in Baltimore to fundraise and promote the organization; Publicity and promotion for events; Grant writing; Education of children for the Schools Education Series.
Business Volunteers Unlimited. Phone: 410-366-6030; Web site: www.volunteercentral.net.
If you haven’t found something to fit your needs and/or talents here, look into Business Volunteers Unlimited which acts as a clearinghouse for volunteer needs. BVU bills itself as Baltimore’s Volunteer Central, but it is generally geared toward groups looking to volunteer. On Oct. 19, the BVU will host a “speed volunteering activity” day so you can meet the nonprofits that need your help.
If you go to its Web site, however, you’ll find the names and contact information for a multitude of organizations looking for help in almost any field you are willing to take part in.