Voluntary RE:action

Welcome to our volunteer column sponsored by Grand Rapids Community Foundation. Discover which volunteer position best describes you. Pick a cause and react voluntarily!

Volunteer Opportunity Spotlight: Kim Rantala, Development Officer at Ronald McDonald House

I think volunteering here, people see what a difference they are making for families that are going through some of the most stressful times in their lives. A lot of these families don’t expect to be in these situations and many arrive very discouraged. The volunteers can add a smile to these peoples’ faces. You wouldn’t think that it means as much as it does, but the families [that stay here] just love coming home to the smell of cookies and having treats when they come home from the hospital or when they’ve had a rough day.”

The Tutor

January marks the beginning of the end of the school year; help young learners finish strong by becoming a Power Hour volunteer tutor at the Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids. All subject areas are covered in this homework help program, held after school hours in the learning center.

Take Action: Contact Nika Kusmierz at nkusmierz@bgcgrandrapids.org.

The Thespian

The show must go on, but stageGR needs your help to do it. Lend your sewing experience in the costume department, help make sure the lighting is correct, assist the director by giving stage directions and cues to the performers, pass out tickets at the door or promote each performance through fundraising.

Take Action: Fill out a volunteer form at stagegr.org/participate/volunteer.

The Ballet Benefactor

Indulge your love for performance art by becoming an En Pointe volunteer at the Grand Rapids Ballet. Through this role, you’ll be invited to lend a hand at special events, usher during shows or help run the GR Ballet boutique. The best part? All the performances you work are free to you!

Take Action: Contact the Grand Rapids Ballet at (616) 454-4771 ext. 13, or by email at info@grballet.com

The History Buff

Take a trip to the past by volunteering in the History and Special Collections department of the Grand Rapids Public Library. Help preserve the important history of our community by sorting through photography, diaries, posters, maps and other records.

Take Action: Contact the GRPL History Department at 616-988-5400 ext. 5497

The Transporter

The families that stay at the Ronald McDonald House often have busy schedules, but don’t always have the means to complete those errands. By becoming a volunteer shuttle driver for the house, you’ll be able to take those families anywhere they need to go, whether it’s the hospital, the post office or the grocery store.

Take Action: Contact Megan at (616) 258-5731.

The Messenger

Do you have a knack for writing? Share your skills with the community by becoming a volunteer reporter for The Rapidian. Once you’re signed up, you’ll be provided a personal mentor that will help you conjure up the perfect story ideas. Unleash your creativity as you cover everything from the arts, to community leaders to local news.

Take Action: Contact Kiran at kiran@grcmc.org

The Guardian Angel

At CASA of Kent County, Children’s best interests are always put first. By becoming a CASA volunteer, you’ll be appointed by a judge to one foster care case involving a child or set of siblings dealing with issues of abuse or neglect. You’ll be able to help identify the child’s needs, present written reports at court hearings, help the child understand court proceedings and recommend any services the child might need as they transition from foster care to a permanent residence.

Take Action: Contact CASA of Kent County at (616) 632-5311

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