When Gary Bentz, a University of Utah student, decided he wanted to become a volunteer, it was good news for Big Brothers/
Big Sisters of Salt Lake - and for a 14-year-old named Jason."Jason was very shy and somewhat introverted when he started the program," Jason's mother told Lisa Hagan, assistant program director. "Gary's friendship with him has helped him become a more open person. He seems to have an easier time talking with others and making friends."
Bentz and Jason both like art, so they sometimes draw or paint. They always talk a lot and Jason seems to be developing more self-confidence.
Besides taking on a little brother, Bentz became active with the organization. He is on the activity committee, he helped with the annual Mardi Gras Ball, he put together a tag football game with University of Utah players and some 70 people from Big Brothers/Big Sisters. He also helped with their Hoop-It-Up fund-raiser, went on a river trip, took part in a luau and "has lots of good ideas," Hagan said.
"He's a real go-getter. He recruits other volunteers for us. He has gotten his family members and fraternity brothers involved in our activities. In fact, his fraternity will host our Halloween party this year. I think it must be hard to say `no' to him."
Jason and Bentz have been matched for about a year and a half.
How do you know when a charitable phone solicitation is legitimate or not? There guidelines to help you answer the question. For information, call the Information and Referral Center, 487-4716.
If you'd like to inquire about, or volunteer for, any of the following requests, call the Voluntary Action Center of the Community Services Council, 212 W. 13th South, 486-2136.
Help American Cancer Society with basic office duties. Flexible hours, training.
Coordinate volunteer help. Schedule training sessions and volunteers.
Visit work sites with health fair. Daytime hours. Training.
Coordinate health fair volunteers.
Read to a blind student. Once or twice a week.
Help older residents with letter writing and reading personal mail.
Tutor school-age children. Training provided. Two-hour shifts.
Be a "special reader" in high school English department.
Help parents who call about child care. Training, one to three hours a week.
Match special-needs children with new parents. Training. Volunteers needed Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
Do presentations about sexual abuse prevention. School hours, flexible schedule. Training Oct. 4.
Work in Birthright office. Training, flexible schedule.
Volunteers 60 and older to be foster grandparents and senior companions, 20 hours a week. Some compensation.
Demonstrate good parenting skills to young single parent of three. Be a friend and teacher. Flexible hours.
Help baby-sit children under age 12 while parents take parenting class. Two days or evenings a week. Monday afternoons or Thursday evenings.
Provide evening programs at care center. One night a week.
Help young students who need academic assistance. One or two hours a week. Training.
Be a cashier at Salt Lake Community College for two weeks.
Shuttle runners after a 5K race. Need chauffeur's license.
Hand out water, be a spotter at 5K Saturday, Sept. 29.
Perform basic office duties.
Teach English. Training, flexible schedule.
Be a docent at historical society. Flexible schedule.
Transport a senior citizen to copier store once or twice a month.
Good driving skills and knowledge of Salt Lake County? Pick up and deliver parts and vehicles. Flexible hours, during September.
Help with recreational therapy activities at care center.
Be cashier at hospital snack bar. Tuesday and Thursday shifts.
Drive blind adults to doctor and dentist appointments.
Deliver meals to the elderly. Flexible schedule. Some transportation provided.
Bilingual translators to help schoolchildren. Flexible hours.
Be a docent at Children's Museum. Training.
Give information to tourists.
Help at Red Butte Gardens Arboretum.
Help with Very Special Arts Festival. Sept. 27-28.
Non-radical environmental group needs volunteers.
Transport food for the Salt Lake Food Bank. Must have a pick-up truck.
Provide temporary shelter homes to abused, neglected and homeless children. Maintenance fee provided.
Be a role model for an adolescent mother.
Give microwave for quadriplegic man.
Donate red towels and blankets.
Provide appropriate men's magazines and books to care center.
Provide full-size bed, box springs and mattress for two twin beds.
Donate household items for refugee families.
Donate furniture, dressers, kitchen table and chairs, pots and pans, dryer. No beds. Can pick up.
Provide living room and office furniture.
Donate school clothing and shoes. Also women's clothing.
Give riding toys to shelter care program.
Donate sewing machine, kitchen chairs and desk.
Provide twin strollers.