If everyone gives back to the community they live in, that community grows stronger and more supportive as a whole. In this season, with the holidays approaching, it's a good time to think about lending a hand to others. Here are a few volunteer organizations in the Rochester area that could use your help—not just during the holidays, but throughout the year.
Did you know one in ten people in the Rochester area are struggling with hunger and food insecurity? Channel One Regional Food Bank is dedicated to helping feed these residents, and you can help. They need volunteers to stock the shelves and help clients with food shopping on Thursdays and Fridays, and additional volunteers to help eliminate food waste by gleaning the fields for crops left behind.
The food bank also holds Family Volunteer Days on the first or second Saturday of each month, where you and your family can help sort and label food that goes to families in need. To sign up or learn more about these opportunities, call 507-424-1705.
Elder Helpers is an internet-based organization dedicated to helping senior citizens across the nation, including those in the Rochester area. It's a great choice if you're looking to connect with and help someone on a one-on-one basis. Once you create an online profile, seniors will contact you through the site and express interest in the helpful services you choose to offer, which can include tasks like helping them shop for groceries, cooking meals, and simply providing entertainment. Elder Helpers acts as a go-between to keep both you and the seniors safe.
Pets are part of the community, too, and Paws and Claws Humane Society is dedicated to helping those in need find healthy, happy homes. They're always looking for volunteers to help socialize and feed the animals, walk dogs, clean cages, and more. To become a volunteer, you first need to attend a general orientation session, which you can sign up for on the PCHS website. Then, you’ll need to commit to at least three hours per month of hands-on time with the animals.
Dorothy Day Hospitality House opened in 1984 and has been providing temporary shelter for those in crisis situations ever since. They have 23 beds and accommodate homeless guests, providing two meals per day, used clothing, and safe shelter. You can volunteer to help prepare meals, watch the front desk, or teach residents skills as they pursue new careers. To get started, fill out the form on the Dorothy Day Hospitality House website.
Have you volunteered with any of these organizations? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!