Voluntary RE:action

sponsored by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation 

Your opportunity awaits! Picks a role and react voluntarily.

Volunteer Spotlight

Rani Bell: Lending a hand during the world’s largest open art competition

Grand Rapids resident Rani Bell and her family have been volunteering at ArtPrize for the past four years. Bell first began volunteering for ArtPrize with her oldest son, who needed volunteer hours as a requirement for high school graduation. As a busy mother, she was pleased with the amount of flexibility being an ArtPrize volunteer offered, and has been volunteering with each of her kids ever since.

“It is very easy to volunteer at ArtPrize,” Bell explained. “You sign up for a volunteer account, go to the one hour volunteer orientation – which you can now take online – and then you can sign up for shifts.”

Bell can be found greeting guests, members and fellow volunteers at the ArtPrize Hub (41 Sheldon Blvd SE) after school hours or on weekends. She also lends a hand at the registration table as participants prepare to cast votes or become a member. In the past, Bell has also been a Wayfinder, where she helped ArtPrize goers find venues, exhibits and those coveted parking spots.

As a volunteer, Bell has an opportunity to hear the public’s opinion on certain venues, art pieces and exhibits; she often makes a mental list of the must-see hot-spots.

“I like when people come back to me and say, ‘Oh, did you see that?’,” Bell said. “It puts the idea in my head that I need to go visit that exhibit or venue.”

For those on the fence about becoming an ArtPrize volunteer, Bell assures that it couldn’t be more low-pressure and accommodating – two important qualities that have kept her coming back year after year.

“Don’t be nervous about volunteering; it is very easy and you have a lot of support from the ArtPrize staff, especially if you have any questions,” Bell expressed.

The Math Whizz

Do you have a knack for numbers? The Geek Group is looking for passionate math tutors to steer high school students toward success. Create a bond with students as you share useful tips and tricks to help them succeed in the classroom.
Take Action: Contact The Geek Group at (616) 466-4335.

The Sanitation Steward

Inventory is crucial for the Alpha Women’s Center of Grand Rapids as many client’s visit the AWC store in search of household essentials for their families. The AWC is always looking for Material Resource volunteers to help make sure all donations delivered to the center are sorted, organized and cleaned thoroughly to keep the store reliable and high-quality.
Take Action: Contact the Alpha Women’s Center at (616) 459-9955.

The Party-Goer

At Samaritas Senior Living, residents are gearing up for the most anticipated event of the season–Oktoberfest! The yearly celebration focuses on all things fall and relies on dedicated volunteers to make the party memorable. Assist by setting up decorations, serving beer and wine or helping participants find a seat.
Take Action: Contact Samaritas Senior Living at (616) 452-5900.

The Harvest Helper

Join Blandford Nature Center in welcoming autumn by volunteering at the annual Harvest Festival. Set up supplies, tables and decorations before the festivities begin, direct traffic in the parking lot, greet guests, run the concessions table, supervise various craft stations or clean up after the event.
Take Action: Contact Blandford Nature Center at (616) 735-6240.

The Feline Fancier 

Get your cat fix at Crash’s Landing cat shelter. This no-kill, rescue organization needs feline-friendly volunteers to help keep the cats comfortable and maintain a clean environment by completing essential tasks such as feeding the cats, scooping litter boxes and cleaning cages.
Take Action: Contact Crash’s Landing volunteer department at volunteer@crashslanding.org.



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