If you enjoy working with children and would like to spend a few hours each week as a volunteer, you are needed at the Family Support Center.
The Family Support Center works to prevent child abuse and neglect by providing a 24-hour crisis nursery where parents may leave their children during stressful periods or while receiving counseling."The nursery provides parents with time to collect their thoughts and to release pressures in constructive ways, instead of abusing their children," said Lori Findeis, volunteer coordinator.
The center also provides free counseling for parents, as well as classes on appropriate ways to deal with anger, stress and other emotions. Parents Anonymous support groups are also held on a weekly basis where parents act as a support system for each other.
While parents attend these classes, volunteers are needed to supervise and play with the children in the nursery. "Many of these children need special love, attention and friendship that the volunteers can offer," Findeis said.
Volunteers work the same three-hour shift each week and are asked to commit to stay with the agency for at least three months.
While working in the nursery, volunteers also answer the Phone Pal line, which Findeis called a "warm" line for kids. Volunteers are given extensive training for this work.
Volunteers attend an orientation meeting to familiarize them with the center's policies and services, as well as learn their role and responsibilities. There are no formal qualifications for volunteers, but they must be responsible, concerned and work well with children.
The Family Support Center is also very involved in community education. Volunteers are needed to help with two different programs.
Volunteers are needed to teach Positive Parenting classes to high school students, where they discuss alternatives to abuse. Presentations are made during school hours, but the time varies each week. Generally, volunteers work three hours a week.
The Sexual Abuse Prevention program is also in need of several volunteers. After considerable training, volunteers train teachers and other volunteers who will be making the prevention presentations.
Findeis said that both the Positive Parenting and Sexual Abuse Prevention volunteers need to have had some experience teaching and need to feel comfortable in front of large groups. Prospective volunteers will be interviewed.
Volunteers interested in volunteering at the Family Support Center may call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.
Other community volunteer needs include:
-Parent Education Resource Center needs a volunteer to give several hours each month acting as a business consultant for the center. This can be done on the volunteer's own time. A bookkeeper is also needed four or five hours each month to help balance the budget.
-Crestview Convalescent Center needs volunteers to help with exercise classes, as well as arts and crafts and travel classes.
-Lindon Care and Training needs volunteers to help their retarded residents with leisure skills classes at 6:30 p.m. Mondays and Fridays.
For more information on these and other community volunteer opportunities, call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.