Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It Only Takes a Week - Join Global Volunteers for a U.S.A. Service Program!!

Want to volunteer a little closer to home this year? Consider joining Global Volunteers for a one week U.S.A. service program in Montana, West Virginia, or Minnesota in 2011. Read below to learn about our unique work projects, and enjoy some photos from recent volunteer teams!!


Since that first team, volunteers have helped landscape, sod and enclose the play area with fencing, and have built picnic tables, an outdoor deck and horseshoe pits at the Center. Our partnership with the Blackfeet Nation has since grown to serve new partners, such as the Blackfeet Tribal Nursing Home, Eagle Shields Senior and Assisted Living Center, White Buffalo Youth Detention Center, and the Southern Piegan Diabetes Project. Volunteers working on these projects have served meals; helped with craft projects, games, and musical activities; counseled youth; and painted and landscaped the facilities. Since the work we do on each team depends upon the immediate needs of the community, volunteers often do not find out the exact nature of their work projects until they are on-site in Montana. When serving in Native American communities, the need for flexibility is of the utmost importance.

Every day on the reservation is an opportunity to gain a little better insight into the past and present of the Blackfeet tribe through the words and example of its members. With an open mind, you will not only appreciate the rich traditions the tribe has preserved through the centuries, but you will learn how you can make a difference to ensure an optimistic future for coming generations. One former program participant said of her experience on the Blackfeet Reservation: “Individuals often approached us and sat down to share their life stories. This was due to the good work of former volunteers. The Blackfeet always said ‘thank you’ to us for our work before the conversation was over.”


The on-going project in West Virginia is to re-build and renovate former coal-company houses, where low-income families and senior citizens can live affordably. Volunteers work alongside, and are mentors to, participants in the local “Youth Build” program—young people who are pursuing their GED and are working on-site to develop their construction skills. Volunteers may also have the opportunity to tutor some of the local students after school

By participating in a Global Volunteers service program in Beards Fork, you will help rebuild the communities and lives of those living in southern West Virginia. Dr. John David, SALS founder, summed up the first team’s experience in Beards Fork by saying: “The Global Volunteers team was wonderful. . . They really connected with staff, community, and youth, and made a terrific contribution. They left with a strong mutual emotional attachment, and we all appreciate their sharing of time and energy in our efforts to rebuild our community and put the pieces back together again.”


The Minnesota Project focuses on the needs of two increasingly diverse rural communities that have become microcosms of the world at large: Austin and Worthington. Both have experienced an explosive growth of immigrant populations over the last decade, which has created new challenges for what were previously communities of almost exclusively European ancestry.

By teaching conversational English and nurturing warm, fun-loving children, you will help enhance immigrant students’ classroom performance as well as their future educational opportunities and employment prospects. Your participation will also facilitate community integration by enabling immigrant families to communicate more effectively with their neighbors. When people talk, greater understanding results - the barriers of distrust, discrimination, and misunderstanding crumble.

Help wage peace and build a better world. This one-week volunteer service opportunity is available for any native English speaker. All that’s required is a flexible attitude and a desire to serve.