January is National Mentoring Month and a number of local groups are looking for caring volunteers to serve as mentors to those who will benefit from some one-on-one support. All mentoring programs require references and background check.
• Mobius, The Mentoring Movement – Adult mentors are needed to spend quality time with a child in a school or community-based program for at least one hour a week for a minimum one-year commitment. School volunteers do specific activities during the school day. Community-based mentors share mutually enjoyable activities with their mentees. Orientation and training provided.
• Everybody Wins! Vermont – Help increase a child’s prospects for success in school and beyond by visiting a local elementary school and sharing your love for reading. There are children in grades one through five who are just waiting to spend an hour a week during the school day with an adult who cares.
• Howard Center’s Community Friends Mentoring program – The program supports more than 80 area children, age 6 and up, by providing fun, caring relationships with carefully matched adults. Mentoring pairs meet regularly to spend time together on their own in the community, sharing activities they both enjoy. Training and ongoing support provided.
Vermont Family Network is looking for volunteers to support parents at their Family Room at Vermont Children’s Hospital/Fletcher Allen Health Care. Volunteers serve as a welcoming and respectful presence to listen to family members, inform them of other resources and support services, and maintain a welcoming, restful atmosphere. Flexible weekday, weekend and evening schedules, minimum one to two hours per month, prefer one to two hours per week. Training provided. References and background check required.
Good News Garage is seeking volunteers to make pretty sweets for special events. This might include heart-shaped cookies for Valentine’s Day, treats for Employee Appreciation Day and more. Flexible scheduling as needed.
A DRIVING NEED
Vermont Department of Corrections needs a volunteer to co-teach a class for 10 to 20 offenders who have been convicted of a first or second DUI offense. A lesson plan is provided and training provided and the commitment is for two one-hour classes per month. References and background check required.
The Vermont Department of Corrections is seeking Reparative Board volunteers to meet with nonviolent offenders and their victims to negotiate agreements to ensure that offenders understand the impact of their crime and make appropriate amends to the victim. Two to six hours per month, usually 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Restorative Justice Panel members are also needed to meet with probationers and victims to determine how to repair the harm caused by an offense and to help determine sanctions of supervised offenders. Training provided. Interview and background check required, but past criminal history does not necessarily disqualify a potential volunteer.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger needs Nutrition Educators to help guide the organization’s Learning Kitchen participants through lessons and nutrition activities. Training and curriculum provided. Two-and-a-half hours per week for each six-week session, plus training. Training provided.
NOURISHING BODY AND SPIRIT
Cathedral Square Corp. is looking for volunteers to help serve meals at two Burlington senior housing locations. Flexible weekday, evening and weekend schedules. Must be able to stand for the one-and-a-half-hour duration of the meal. Background check required.