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Help serve our furry friends

May 14, 2013

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Few things warm your heart like playing with or caring for a dog or cat. Though owning an animal may not be for everyone but volunteering at the Spokane Humane Society can be the answer!

There are three ways to help the humane society: donate, adopt or volunteer.

1) Donate

Like any non-profit the humane society requires money to tay open. Thus donating cash, securities, real estate, retirement plan assets, life insurance, bequests and trusts and endowed gift giving. For more information, check out the Ways To Give page.

2) Adopt.

“Each animal is screened for health and temperament, vaccinated, wormed, spayed or neutered and microchipped. Adoptions come with a 30-day ShelterCare health insurance policy and most veterinarians in the Spokane area will provide a complimentary wellness exam following the adoption. What’s even better is that virtually all of our animals are ready to go home the same day as the adoption.”

To check out the currently available animals, see the Adopt page.

3) Volunteer

To start the volunteer process, you must watch the “How To Volunteer” video. At the end you will be promoted to fill out a volunteer application. There are several areas to help out including K-9 Crew, Feline Friend, Foster Care, Outreach, Front Desk, Clinic and Community Service. For more information see the Volunteer Opportunities page.

Volunteer Contact Information:

Jenna Carroll, Volunteer Coordinator

Email or call  (509) 467-5235 ext. 228 or tweet @SpokHumaneSoc

Map:

Women and Children’s Free Restaurant feeds those in need.

January 24, 2011

Women and Children’s Free Restaurant

The Women and Children’s Free Restaurant is exactly what it sounds like a restaurant for women and children.

According to their website, at the time the Women and Children’s Free Restaurant was founded, there were many meal programs for men, but few for women and families. Their program is meant to serve women and children in a safe environment.

They are located in the basement of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 1620 N Monroe St. though not affiliated with the church.

The dining room is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 4:00p.m. till 6:00p.m. On Fridays, lunch is served at 12:30p.m. till 2:30p.m. and Fresh Market Take Out program runs from 1:00p.m. to 3:00p.m.

Fresh Market Take Out provides women and children with fresh produce, milk, eggs, bread and a healthy frozen entrée so that they have food over the weekend.

A family enjoys dinner.

The restaurant prides itself in having delicious healthy meals for the women and children. They make the recipes available to everyone however on their website.

“We can’t fulfill our mission without the many volunteers who faithfully serve each week. Our volunteer orientations are scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month from 5:30p.m.-6:30p.m. They are for current volunteers and people interested in learning more about our program,” according to their website

Volunteer Info:

Online application OR volunteer@wcfrspokane.org OR (509)324-1995

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Global Neighborhood brings refugees into the Spokane community.

January 24, 2011

Global Neighborhood is a Spokane based non-profit working to help refugees adjust to the United States.

“When they first arrive, Spokane’s refugees are resettled by World Relief, a volunteer agency with a government contract to provide refugees with a variety of services. These services range from social work to help finding jobs and last for the refugees’ first 180 days in Spokane,” according to their website.

In 2008, the United States accepted 60,192 refugees for resettlement and about 350 to 450 ended up in Spokane.

Global Neighborhood has a personal approach to helping refugees. They believe that personal friendship connections are the strongest bond and are a great aid to refugees.

Thus they try to set up each family with a few volunteers who are willing to spend time with them. For Global Neighborhood, this is the most common form of volunteering. However, there are alternative options listed as well such as a prayer volunteer.

Because they are highly volunteer based, Global Neighborhood has a strong and training support system. Each week they post volunteer tips to provide support and guidance.

Volunteer Info:

Contact  Amy Hendricks (Director of Volunteers) at amy@global-neighborhood.org or 509-703-7524

Spokane Civic Theatre needs volunteers to produce plays.

January 23, 2011

A unique and rare volunteer opportunity is at the Spokane Civic Theatre.

Founded in 1947, the Spokane Civic Theatre is one of the oldest community theatre companies in the country. After moving multiple times during its history, the theatre is currently located on 1020 N. Howard St.

This year, they will be performing Don’t Dress for Dinner (January 14-30), Nunsense (February 18-March 6), Buddy: The Buddy Holiday Story Revival (July 22-31) along with other productions later in the year.

Like many community theatres, Spokane Civic Theatre relies on volunteers to put on a production.

“Spokane Civic Theatre has more than 1,000 volunteers who serve as actors, backstage crews, box officers, house managers, hosts and hostesses, ushers, and board members. They contribute approximately 55,000 hours each year.” according to the theatre’s website.

Buddy: The Buddy Holiday Story coming in July to the Spokane Civic Theatre

For those who have no experience with theatre there are still opportunities to volunteer by:

  • Ushering for a show
  • Selling raffle tickets
  • House managing
  • Operating the box office
  • Putting up posters
  • Preparing mailings
  • Cleaning up the grounds

This is a great way to interact with the arts and volunteer at the same time.

Volunteer Info:

(509)325-1413 OR lance@spokanecivictheatre.com

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Shalom Ministries allows Spokane citizens to dine with dignity.

January 23, 2011

Shalom Ministries’ Dining with Dignity

Shalom Ministries is run by Spokane Central United Methodist Church.

In 1992, the United Methodist Church started efforts to form urban ministries nationwide. Two years later, Spokane Central United Methodist Church started Shalom Ministries.

Shalom Ministries is known for its Dining with Dignity program.

“Dining with Dignity serves breakfast Monday through Thursday and Monday night dinner, preparing and serving 2,000 to 3,000 meals monthly,” according to Spokane Central United Methodist Church’s website.

Breakfast is served Monday through Thursday 7:30-8:30 a.m. Each Monday, a hot dinner is served 4:30-5:30p.m.

On Wednesdays, there is a special movie and soup afternoon. The movie starts at 2:00p.m. and soup is served at 4:30p.m. However, the movie and soup nights are only from November 1 through February 28.

Meals are “Served in Epworth Hall in the lower level of Central UMC. Enter through the parking area between CUMC and the Phone Company Building.” Spokane Central United Methodist Church is located on 518 West Third Avenue.

Shalom Ministries provide a variety of services including meals, hygiene items,  a clothing bank, free voice mail and free bus passes.

Volunteer Info:

(509)838-1431

As a volunteer, you can help by preparing and serving meals or support the ministry through financial, food and clothing contributions.

Maps:

En Christo is small but attempts to tackle large goal.

January 21, 2011

En Christo team feeds Spokane’s homeless.

En Christo is a small campus ministry based out of Whitworth University. They are not too well-known outside of the Whitworth campus, but their mission is clear.

There goal is to food those who are homeless or living in poverty. En Christo consists of first, the lunch making and second, the distribution.

“Don’t have to do both. But I like to,” leadership member Hannah Crawford said. She explained that participating in both sections allows the group to form into a team, who is cohesive and wants to work together.

Volunteers meet in the Whitworth Hixon Union Building at 1:30 every Saturday to start the lunch making process. They make and pack sandwiches assembly line style, this is later paired with soup made the previous night.

Once finished there is a short meeting and time of worship, then the they pack up and head off to Park Tower. Park Tower is a retirement home on 217 W Spokane Falls Blvd. They head downtown at about 3:00pm.

The team splits up into male, female pairs and visit the residents. They deliver sandwiches and soup while also offering a kind word or a listening ear.

Visting residents of Park Towers.

Crawford has been able to make good relationships with a few particular residents such as Jane, Norm and his wife.

While part of the team visits Park Towers, others are the Street Team. They hand deliver the food to those who are homeless and living on the street.

At the end of the day any extra food is donated to the Truth Project. The operation ends at about 6:30 or 7:00. It’s basically the whole day but its worth it, Crawford said.

Volunteer Info:

To get involved, simply show up. Whitworth University is located on 300 W. Hawthorne Rd. The Hixon Union Building is in the main entrance and around the bend in the road. En Christo is open to anyone, so please join.

Questions, visit En Christo’s Facebook page. Sorry there is no direct phone number for En Christo.

Maps:

Bridging the gap with The Arc of Spokane.

January 20, 2011

Community center members show their friendship and care.

The Arc of Spokane serves Spokane’s developmental and mentally disabled citizens and gives them tools for the future.

During the 1950s parents were told to send their disabled children to an institution and forget about them.  The Arc of Spokane was originally a parents group that formed in rebellion of this idea and practice. The name was originally The Association of Retarded Citizens (ARC), but now it’s simply The Arc of Spokane with no acronym.

Now The Arc provides many services including advocacy, family support, resident support, financial support and a community center

The community center is located on 116 W Indiana Ave. It is a safe environment for members to come and see their friends, go on Arc sponsored outings and learn various skills.

“Activities at the center include classes, crafts, gym sports, games, discussion groups, monthly dances and an annual talent show. We also hold regular classes that teach basic behavior management and communication skills,” according to The Arc’s website.

I know from personal experience that you can feel out-of-place when first volunteering with The Arc simply because the members react differently to situations then you expect. I felt awkward and slightly uncomfortable but it is incredibly fun and rewarding in the end.

Volunteer Info:

(509) 789-2247

To volunteer at The Arc community center contact the office on Indiana Ave and express your interest in volunteering.

Maps:

Tincan promotes technology and learning

January 19, 2011

Tincan is a science based non-profit, they focus on history, science and technology education.

Originally founded in 1994 at Eastern Washington University, its goal was to promote telecommunication and computer technology. Five year alter they left the university to as to obtain their non-profit standing.

Now Tincan focuses on “interactive media and information technology,” said Executive Director Karen Michaelson.

Tincan’s values manifests itself in various programs including video productions courses, science workshops, game development and history projects.

In the video production courses, students use industry standard technology to produce their own film. “We teach participants in our workshops the process necessary to make quality videos. The participants learn the importance of storyboarding the video and using good lighting. They also learn different techniques in filming such as the angle of the shot and how to get good sound,”  according to Tincan’s website.

Students learn about scinece and technology at Tincan.

The science education combined technology and science to make new discoveries. The program is described as “interactive, hands-on experiences that enhance technology skills while exposing them to the science that is all around them.”

Tincan also offers more traditional technology workshops such as video resumes, Skype and Twitter.

Volunteer Info:

To volunteer “contact us and tell us what they are interested in,” said Michaelson. Students have also interned for Tincan, they prefer students with majors relating to science or information technology but all are welcome.

(509)744- 0972 or tincaninfo@tincan.org

 

Map:

1317 W 2nd Ave  Spokane, WA

St. Margaret’s Shelter gives housing and help.

January 18, 2011

St. Margaret’s Shelter is a program of the Catholic Charities of Spokane. They provide emergency and transitional housing for women and children.

“St. Margaret’s Shelter originally opened in 1961 for homeless and destitute women. Today, St. Margaret’s is an emergency and transitional shelter for homeless women and their children. It provides housing, case management, parenting classes, and life skills training to homeless women. St. Margaret’s also provides emergency shelter to mothers with high-risk newborns,” according to their website.

Van stone explained that within the umbrella of the shelter, St. Margaret’s provides many services including:

  • Emergency shelter for women and children (boys under age 12).
  • Transitional housing for women and children (boys under age 12).
  • Free furniture and household items to homeless households through a partnership with several other community agencies.
  • Fresh, local produce in season for low-income households through Community-Supported Agriculture boxes.

St. Margaret’s Shelter provides emergancy and transitional housing for women and children

Though St. Margaret’s focuses on housing they also have a community garden, said Director Nadine Van Stone. The garden started when a husband and wife duo bought a small farm in Vinegar Flats. They where both teacher at Gonzaga University and where not farmers. Thus they donated the space to St. Margaret’s as a means of growing food for the shelter.

Now the garden provides enough food for the shelter’s residents and excess to be sold at the local framer’s markets. The garden gives consistent access to low-priced, yet high-quality produce for a majority of the year.

Volunteer Info:

Contact St. Margaret’s Shelter (509) 624-9788, and ask for Jody Nelson, who is the volunteer coordinator OR

fill out a Volunteer Application. Indicate St. Margaret’s Shelter when it asks about where you would like to volunteer. This application works for all programs through the Catholic Charities of Spokane.

 

Map:

101 East Hartson Avenue, Spokane, WA

2nd Harvest supports traditional food banks.

January 7, 2011

2nd Harvest is not a traditional food bank.

In actuality they are “a charity food distribution center,” Melissa Cloninger, Director of Community and Cooperate Relations at 2nd Harvest in Inland Northwest.

2nd Harvest is a part of the Feeding America network, the largest hunger focused organization in the United States. Feeding America acts as a mediator and advocate for the organizations under them. 2nd Harvest also collects their own resources through food drives and financial contributions from the local community.

Once resources from the local community or Feeding America are received, 2nd Harvest then distributes the donations to local food banks across Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.

“These last two years have presented new challenges for non-profits, like 2nd Harvest,” said Cloninger. “There is no stereotype anymore, the face of hunger has changed.”

Cloninger told the story of an average woman and her husband from one of the supplied food bank. She and her husband both worked, but shortly after being certified as an electrician she was laid off. Her husband was injured and they did not have the deductible for the surgery that was needed. Before they made a decent living, by no mean wealthy but suddenly overnight that changed and they turned to the food bank for help.

“They are not used to having to seek assistance,” Cloninger said about their average client.

2nd Harvest provides 1.8 million pounds of food to local food banks every month. This feeds 40,000 clients a week and 200,000 different clients per year. Despite this large quantity, there is still a much grater need. There is an estimated 75 million meal difference between the need and the actual being provided.

But thankfully, the Spokane community is generous, Cloninger said. Because of financial contributions and food drives, 2nd Harvest is able to provide tons of food, but the need is still greater.

Volunteer Info:

Visit http://www.2-harvest.org/4/how-to-help/ OR contact Julie Nesbitt  (509) 252-6242 or jnesbitt@2-harvest.org

Map:

1234 East Front Avenue, Spokane, WA