Many programs that serve mentally and physically handicapped people in Utah County need help from community volunteers, according to Lorri Hirst, United Way Volunteer Center director.
"Without volunteers these programs would have to drastically cut down the number of clients they can work with," Hirst said. Ways to help include:- The Little Tricker program, which serves handicapped children ages 5 to 12, needs volunteers to help on a regular or one-time basis. The group meets for activities such as arts and crafts, games and sports every Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Volunteers are needed to wheel Utah State Training School residents from their group homes on the American Fork Campus to the activity room - then help with activities that include arts and crafts, dances, talent shows and movies.
- Kids On The Move, a preschool for children who are developmentally delayed, needs dedicated volunteers to help on a regular basis, two to three hours each week during school hours. Volunteers serve as teacher's aides, help with eye-hand coordination and physical therapy.
- Become a volunteer advocate for a mentally retarded person living at the Utah State Training School by joining the Utah Mental Retardation Association. Volunteer advocates work with one or two residents, making sure that their physical and emotional needs are met. A one-year commitment is necessary. Volunteers are asked to spend five to six hours each month.
- Help a Special Olympics team prepare for the state games in June. Volunteers are needed to help with a softball team from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, and track and field events on Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Volunteers are needed to work a regular shift at the Tiny Tots Care Center in Orem, giving some extra love and attention to the mentally handicapped children.
For more information on these and other community volunteer opportunities, call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.