The holidays are just around the corner and so are holiday service projects. According to volunteer coordinator Becky Gainsford, the Utah State Training School in American Fork has many needs that could be filled by holiday volunteers.
"Our clients are aged 5 to 70," Gainsford said. "And they all have needs that could be met through volunteer efforts."Those needs include everything from making craft items to decorating the resident's rooms for the holidays to helping a group of handicapped clients get to the central building for an activity.
Groups of volunteers are needed every Friday evening and Saturday afternoon to help the residents get to the weekly movie. Those in wheelchairs need "pushers" and those who are ambulatory simply need additional help. Groups are also needed to provide this same service every third Thursday for school dances.
Residents also need help with music for the monthly dances. A volunteer DJ or a live band would be very helpful, even on a one-time basis.
"We also have a need for one-on-one volunteer help," Gainsford said. "Volunteers can take our residents on walks, take them to the school library or the mini-mall. Any additional one-on-one help adds significantly to their quality of life."
The volunteer program is flexible. Volunteers can help on a one-time basis, or they can commit to work on a regular, weekly basis with the same resident.
Groups of volunteers could also help with the upkeep at the school, like washing windows or doing yard cleanups. Groups can combine proj-ects, helping directly with residents as well as upkeep.
For more information on ways to get involved at the Utah State Training School, call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108. Other community volunteer opportunities include:
- Help with Sub for Santa, taking calls in volunteer's home on Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The volunteer must have good hearing and be committed to stay with the project throughout November and December. It is helpful if volunteer lives in Provo/Orem area.
- Work with the potentially abused and neglected children at the crisis nursery. Mature volunteers work one three-hour shift each week, caring for the children and answering the Phone Pal Line. Volunteers must commit to four months of service.
- Help the American Red Cross by serving on a Disaster Action Team, responding to calls when emergencies arise.
For more information on these and other volunteer opportunities, call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.