Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Ways to Volunteer

This week we celebrate National Volunteer Week. National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. It’s about demonstrating to the nation that by working together, in unison, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals. National Volunteer Week is about taking action, encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change—discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to foster positive transformation.

Here are two exciting and interesting ways you can volunteer and help create social change in Hartford:

SNAP Outreach - With one-quarter of Connecticut's residents who are eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) not receiving this important benefit, volunteers can make a huge difference.  Through Foodshare you can be trained to screen people to see if they are likely eligible and to help them apply for this benefit.  Learn more by visiting Foodshare's website or by contacting Sarah Santora.

Budget Coach - You can volunteer  as a Budget Coach in the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut and Co-Opportunity’s new program, MyBudgetCoachtm. The MyBudgetCoachtm program is designed to raise awareness regarding the challenges faced by low-income working families and to provide volunteers with the opportunity to assist families in becoming more financially stable, culminating in the development of a realistic budget and spending plan.  Coaches receive a 8 hours of professional training, split over two sessions. Coaches are then matched with a member who needs assistance on their path to financial stability. The coach and member schedule a convenient time for a monthly two-hour session based on their availability either on-line, in-person, or on the phone – the total commitment is 12 months. Coaches will support their member’s efforts between meetings with a phone call or email to check status. Members and coaches work together to define financial goals, identify barriers, and formulate a working budget. Once a member’s goals are completed, the member graduates and coaches can choose to be assigned to a new client.  For more information, go here or contact Laura O’Keefe.

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