By Elizabeth Riggs
Time is money, so they say. That’s why volunteering in your local community is a generous gift, and a great way to make a difference. If you’re looking to lend a helping hand this fall, here are a few local opportunities to consider.
The Concord Historical Society is made up of a group of historical agencies, including the Lucy Bensley Center, the Heritage Museum, the Pop Warner Museum and the Concord Mercantile. The society is made up of all volunteers, and always looking for help with setting up exhibits, as well as people to serve as speakers and guides for the visitors. The group is currently looking for volunteers to help out at the Heritage Building and Mercantile.
“We all have some kind of a story or memory we can share about the Leland house, or Joylan theater… Kuhn’s drugstore,” reads the website. “When folks come and you show them around, they will start to tell you their memories too.”
History buffs have a lot of options in Springville, including the Civil War Museum, Echoes Through Time. Volunteer staff at the museum are made up by educators, living historians, reenactors and history buffs from all walks of life and professions, as their website states. Those interested in volunteering can sign up for weekend shifts of four or five hours, and should not feel obligated to any long-term commitment.
Volunteers are encouraged to have basic knowledge of the Civil War, but the museum promises that it will provide training, and behind the scenes insight of collections, as well as knowledge to help with the experience.
To volunteer at the Echoes Through Time Civil War Museum, contact Curator Thomas Place at (716) 957-2740 or visit the website: www.echoesthroughtime.org.
Springville Center for the Arts, a membership-owned charitable organization dedicated to promoting and increasing access to the arts, relies largely on volunteers to make the organization successful.
According to their website, “Volunteers make everything happen from mowing the lawn, working with performing artists, hammering nails, making cookies, answering phones to operating the sound board.”
Jobs range in terms of physical demand, time, and frequency, so there is truly something for everyone to do to help make a difference. In order to volunteer at SCA, contact Volunteer Coordinator, Tracy, at email@example.com or call (716) 592-9038.
Love Inc., which stands for Love in the Name of Christ, has a mission of mobilizing the church to transform lives and communities in the name of Jesus Christ. Love Inc. is a non-profit that helps members of the community that are in need, by assisting with connecting them to area food pantries, transporting individuals and families to doctor appointments, connecting individuals with health insurance, senior programs and counseling, and many other needs.
Love Inc. accepts monetary donations on their website, and also enlists help in the form of bottle returns. All proceeds from can and bottle returns taken to The Can Man in Springville can be donated to Love Inc.
Love Inc. is located at 62 E. Main Street in Springville, and can be reached at (716) 592-3761.
In Colden, volunteers are always needed at the Bread of Life Outreach Center, which houses a food pantry and Gabriel’s Closet thrift store which is open to the public. Those in need, who meet Western New York income eligibility guidelines can receive food from the pantry at no cost and a clothing allowance for use in the thrift store.
To volunteer your time, talent or treasures, contact the Center at (716) 941-3550 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for more ideas? Local churches are always looking for more helping hands, as are schools or youth groups, like 4-H clubs. Also try looking on the national scale at initiatives like Make-a-Wish Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, or Big Brothers Big Sisters. Find your local projects and chapters, which rely on help from volunteers.
No matter what you choose to do, volunteering is a gift that is not only beneficial for the receiver; it’s a blessing for all involved.