Yad Ezra is looking for volunteers to pack food boxes.
Yad Ezra is looking for volunteers to pack food boxes.

March is a wonderful time of year for celebrations! As you enjoy Purim and Reading Month with your family and friends, please consider joining in on one of the following volunteer opportunities as well.

Samantha Foon
Samantha Foon

Keep an eye out for literacy-centered events this month. United Way states: “Research shows that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for eventual success in reading, a key factor for success in school, work and life. When an adult reads aloud to a child, both parties have a joyful, rewarding experience that instills a love of reading, improves literacy skills and enhances a child’s self-confidence.”

Brilliant Detroit
is looking for volunteers to support March is Reading Month. Volunteers are needed to support daytime literacy-focused events throughout the month. At Brilliant Detroit, they believe that literacy is a critical component of a kid’s success. Each site is offering unique programming and has different volunteer needs. Events include assisting with literacy game stations and reading aloud to small groups. Visit https://brilliantdetroit.galaxydigital.com to find an opportunity that suits you, or email volunteer@brilliantdetroit.org with any questions.

United Way’s Read Aloud Mentoring Program, which serves four schools in Pontiac and Detroit through one-to-one mentoring, needs volunteers. Adults serve as reading mentors for students in grades K-4 at local schools during their lunchtimes. The goal is to instill a love of reading and provide social-emotional support. Mentors attend 30-
minute reading sessions with their student once a week or every other week through the end of the school year. Virtual opportunities are available at some of the schools, so inquire if that interests you. All volunteers will attend an information and training session prior to beginning the program. To sign up, visit https://liveunitedsem.galaxydigital.com/need/detail/?need_id=359289.

Yad Ezra needs extra hands to help with Passover food packing and distribution. On March 19, there are two packing shifts offered: 9-11 a.m. and 11 a.m.-1 p.m. On March 26 and 27, there are multiple shifts available to distribute Passover packages to clients at the Passover drive-though. Clients will come to Yad Ezra and receive a box of food for their seder that aligns with the size of their family. To sign up, visit https://volunteer.yadezra.org. A background check is required.

Life Remodeled hosts LIT Fridays on the fourth Friday of each month from 4-8 p.m. at the Durfee Innovation Society in Detroit. LIT Fridays are monthly youth and family engagement events planned and executed by the Life Remodeled Youth Alliance (LRYA), a group of students who attend Durfee Middle School and Central High School and advise Life Remodeled regarding Durfee Innovation Society programming.  They implement the LRYA plan and execute all aspects of a monthly event including logistics, marketing, budgeting, decor, public speaking, etc.

Examples of these events include a Thanksgiving Dinner + Movie Night, Holiday Pajama Jam, Vision Board Party, Black History Month Bingo, Easter Egg Hunt, Silent Disco, etc.

Volunteers will assist with set up/tear down, food service, registration, facilitating arts and crafts, monitoring youth in activities like bounce houses, etc. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old, and volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. To sign up or learn more, contact Audrey@LifeRemodeled.org or (313) 774-3052, ext. 1003.

Jewish Family Service is looking for individuals interested in volunteering their time in several ways. iPad volunteers will be matched with a JFS client once a week for one hour for 8-10 weeks. The volunteer will teach basic iPad skills and increase older adults’ technological knowledge for them to better communicate with family and friends to decrease feelings of isolation.

Next, Friendly Visiting Volunteers are matched with a homebound older adult client of JFS who is seeking companionship and support. Visits can be done in the home or volunteers can choose to take the client out for lunch, grocery shopping or other activities. This is a once-a-week commitment for one hour (or two to four hours for volunteers taking clients out in the community).

Lastly, JFS, in partnership with Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network, is seeking volunteers to provide comfort and companionship to chronically and terminally ill individuals and their families. No experience is necessary as training will be provided prior to matching. If you are interested in learning more about these opportunities, contact Jewish Family Service’s Volunteer Coordinator Alyah Al-Azem at alyah@jfsdetroit.org or (313) 662-5687.

Forgotten Harvest is always looking for volunteers at its Oak Park warehouse. Volunteers will help pack emergency food boxes, repack or sort fresh, nutritious food that will be distributed through Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

This opportunity is from 9 a.m.-noon or 1-4 p.m. To participate, Forgotten Harvest asks volunteers to wear long pants, closed-toe shoes and leave jewelry at home. Volunteers must be at least 12 years old. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. To find this and other opportunities at Forgotten Harvest, visit https://forgottenharvest.galaxydigital.com/need.

If your organization is looking for volunteers, please email Samantha Foon at samanthafoon14@gmail.com for possible inclusion in an upcoming column.

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