10/24/04 — Volunteer Wayne

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Volunteer Wayne

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on October 24, 2004 2:06 AM

Volunteer Wayne offers opportunities to serve Wayne County for all ages. This service is provided by Volunteer Wayne and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) at Wayne Community College. Contact Joy Pearce at 735-5151, ext. 336, or at www.volunteersolutions.org/uwwc/volunteer for more information.

O llamar representatives de Latinos por Volunteer Wayne/RSVP: Gaspar Gonzalez, (910) 296-1851, o Willie Cartegena, (919) 735-5010, ext. 116.



From October 17-23, thousands of individuals from businesses, government, churches, civic organizations, schools and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base participated in supply drives for the needy or accomplished projects in non-profit organizations. Together we joined millions of Americans across our nation to give one day of service in our community through the national initiative Make a Difference Day. For the third year in a row, partners United Way of Wayne County, the City of Goldsboro and Volunteer Wayne/RSVP showed volunteers where to connect their skills and interests to help the less fortunate. Highlights of accomplishments in Wayne County were distribution of 2,000 coats; collection of food, school supplies, clothing, hygiene items, and blankets; as well as clearing of a portion of the Mountain to Sea trails at Waynesborough Park.

An unexpected outcome of this year's Make a Difference Day, was the response from students and faculty of Wayne Community College. Upon hearing of the hurricane devastation of a peer community college in the mountains, everyone banded together to collect items, raise funds, and then sent a team to Haywood Community College for delivery and a workday. Faculty and staff remembered all the good deeds contributed from the residents of the North Carolina mountains following Hurricane Floyd in 1999, and were eager to help in current recovery efforts of the mountain community. USA Weekend Magazine, the Points of Light Foundation and the Volunteer Center National Network promote Make a Difference Day each year, and award ten $10,000 awards from Paul Newman to those communities whose events are a model for others to emulate. Our event clearly demonstrates the extraordinary commitment to caring here in Wayne County and beyond. When prospects for projects looked bleak, the power of collaboration was put to work. Just one example is the restoration of the bell tower of the Oddfellows Home (also referred to as the Wiggins School House). This historical building from the 1800's located at Waynesborough Historical Village was severely damaged by Hurricane Isabel. Skilled volunteers from the Seymour Johnson Civil Engineers stepped forward to lend their expertise and labor. However, like many other non-profits, Waynesborough lacked funds for the materials. Lowes Home Improvement Center agreed to provide the materials. Next, there was the challenge of how to remove the tower to accomplish the necessary work. Pearson Pump willingly contributed a crane to allow completion of the project. On Friday, the tower was repositioned on top of the Odd Fellows Home. It now reaches toward the sky as a reminder of all the good works accomplished during Make a Difference Day in 2004.


BENEFIT FOR YOUTH PROGRAMS -- Volunteers can help youth programs while having lots of fun on Friday, October 29th. Golf tournament can use your assistance to make sure the event runs smoothly. Tasks include helping with prizes, monitoring holes, and other activities. No golf knowledge is necessary to participate.

ONGOING OPPORTUNITIES RESPITE FOR CAREGIVERS -- At least two caring individuals with patience and understanding of dementia can assist with Alzheimer's respite program on Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 9-2.

BE AN ADVOCATE FOR ABUSED OR NEGLECTED CHILDREN -- Do you have a minimum of five hours a month to investigate the needs of a child and advocate for the best interests of that child? This program provides advocacy services for children who are involved in the court system as a result of abuse, neglect and dependency. Last year over 425 children were served in the Wayne, Lenoir, and Greene counties through this program.

MAKE A WISH -- Be part of a dream come true for a child with a life threatening medical condition. Wish granters and special event volunteers will enable the Make a Wish Foundation to create quality wish experiences from initial family contact through completion for local families. Training is provided.

BLOOD SUPPLIES ARE LOW -- You can give the gift of life. You never know when you or a family member may be on the receiving end. The next blood drive is scheduled October 28.

TEACHERS NEED YOU -- A variety of positions are available in several schools in various grade levels. Some require special skills while others do not. Just some of the opportunities are: working directly with students, monitoring halls, grading papers, making copies, and filing. Special needs are preparing 7th grade students for the End of Year Writing Test and one on one attention with bilingual and special needs students.

KEEP CHILDREN SAFE -- Home Alone Program is looking for volunteers to teach first aid, Internet safety, and child abduction prevention. Time commitment varies from as little as six hours (including training) to as much time as you wish with this worthwhile program. Retired teachers, law enforcement, emergency and medical personnel are ideally suited for this opportunity.

Visit Volunteer Wayne on line! You can now find your volunteer niche on line at www.volunteersolutions.org/uwwc/volunteer or www.unitedwaywaynecountync.org.

United Way has generously provided this service to encourage more people to become involved in our community.

Seniors can also see us at www.joinseniorservice.org provided by the Corporation for National Service.

Volunteer Wayne is funded by United Way of Wayne County. RSVP is primarily funded by the Corporation for National Service through Senior Corps.