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Volunteers needed to offer hope, help

Volunteers United is a group convened by the United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha & Pierce Counties and is open to any organization interested in networking around volunteer recruitment, retention and development.

Meetings take place the second Wednesday of every other month from 11 a.m. to noon at the Red Wing Family YMCA. The next meeting will be May 13.

For information contact Tonya Roth (651) 388-6309 or tonya.roth@unitedway.org

For a full listing of area volunteer opportunities visit United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha & Pierce Counties' Web site at www.uw-gwp.org and click on Volunteer. New opportunities will be added continuously so please check back often.

Check this page in the Republican Eagle the last week of each month for volunteer opportunities that fit your time and talents. Themes will be:

May: Serving older Americans

June: Special needs and transportation

July: Public safety and other community needs

August: Children and youths

September: Education

October: Arts/history

November: Emergency services/holiday needs

December: Meeting the needs of families

January: Business/finances

February: Health

March: Hunger and nutrition

GWSAS

An American is sexually assaulted every two minutes. One in 4 girls is sexually assaulted by the time they reach 18. One in 6 boys will have been sexually abused by the age of 18.

Nationally, 84 percent of victims know their offender and only 16 percent of rapes are ever reported to the police.

In Goodhue County those statistics are even scarier. We have a higher percentage of victims who know their offender, which leads to a lower rate of reporting than the national average.

We can change this.

The very first thing said to a victim after their assault has an incredible impact on that victim's ability to heal. Having the opportunity to be supported by an advocate can be the difference between whether or not a victim chooses to report their assault to the police or seek medical attention.

Goodhue Wabasha Sexual Assault Services offers free trainings for people who are interested in becoming volunteer advocates. They answer calls on the support line and offer assistance to victims and their friends and families.

Volunteers are also needed to work in the Wabasha or Red Wing offices on special projects, fundraising activities, educational activities, or assisting with various community events.

GWSAS actively supports, educates, empowers and advocates on behalf of people impacted by sexual violence as well as provides prevention, awareness and outreach programs for the communities of Goodhue and Wabasha counties.

Regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or ability, GWSAS provides a 24-hour support line, advocacy services (including medical and legal), listening, support groups, resources, referrals, training and education free of charge. All of our services are completely confidential.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month -- a great reason to get involved with GWSAS. For more information, call Emily at (651) 388-9360 ext. 15.

Kids Count

Kids Count Abused Children's Program is a youth advocacy program that provides safety and support to ages 0-18 who have experienced neglect, emotional, physical or sexual abuse or those who have witnessed violence

Services include support groups, one-on-one listening, parent-to-parent meetings, educational resources, community presentations, field trips, school enrollment and safety planning.

This program serves more than 300 area youths each year, most of whom are residents of Goodhue County. Program offices are located at the Friendship House.

Volunteers are needed for tutoring, chaperoning and mentoring as well as assisting with support groups. All volunteers must pass a criminal background check.

You can learn more by getting involved with our charity golf outing at 11 a.m. May 9. For information, contact Susan at (651) 388-9360 ext. 12.

Haven of Hope

Haven of Hope provides safety, confidentiality, short-term housing and advocacy for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

Servinces include 24-hour crisis line, emergency shelter, advocacy (legal and personal), children's services, outreach services, community education, referral services, local support groups, and safety planning.

If you or someone you know is being abused, please call us. All calls are confidential: (800) 369-5214

Haven of Hope always needs volunteers to work with the center's children in areas like: tutoring, support groups, "shelter grandmas" and chaperones for field trips. Volunteers are also needed for transporting families, cleaning, helping with community events and helping families relocate.

Contact Staci Schmotter, volunteer coordinator, (651) 388-9360 ext. 19

• Interact with children through creative play (ages birth-10)

Volunteers are needed to engage children in creative play and activities Thursdays from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. while their mothers attend support group. An advocate is available to help. A criminal background check is requiredand provided. We will provide necessary training (approximately one hour).

Contact Staci Schmotter, volunteer coordinator with the HOPE Coalition at (651) 388-9360, ext 19.

• Children's safety centers

The mission of Children's Safety Centers is to provide a haven for children during parental visitation. CSC supports this mission by giving children the opportunity to develop a positive and healthy relationship with one of their parents, through our many service options.

Our services include:

Supervised visitation. All visits take place in prepared, child-focused environments with toys, games, crafts projects and playgrounds or gymnasiums. Families visit under the supervision of trained visit monitors.

Safe exchange. This program allows parents to transition children between them without having to come into contact with one another. Parents avoid nasty and upsetting confrontations while children are protected from negative interactions between the parents they love.

Our history: From tragedy to safety

Children's Safety Centers was founded in 1993 by a visionary woman whose husband was convicted of beating their 4-year-old son with a board.

While struggling to build a new life for herself and her four children, she was ordered by the courts to provide visitation between her children and their father.

Realizing the children's need to see him, yet fearing for her safety and that of her children, she created CSC to provide a safe, child-friendly environment where children could experience safe visits with their non-custodial parents. CSC began by serving 20 families in St. Paul. Today, CSC is serving over 700 families at locations in St. Paul, Lakeville, Cambridge, Red Wing, and opening other locations in Goodhue and Wabasha Counties.

For information on how you can assist Children Saftey Centers in their mission contact Carl Nordine, Program Manager, at (651) 388-9360 ext. 27.

Here are some urgent needs and one-time requests by organizations with Volunteers United.

Girl Scouts

Zumbrota-Mazeppa & Goodhue Girl Scouts is looking for individuals to be a part of the service unit team. We have the following positions open for the 2009-10 school year: manager, treasurer, secretary, communications representative and events coordinator. All position descriptions are available at www.girlscoutsrv.org. We also needs individuals interested in leading troops. Contact Candace Ballstadt at candace.ballstadt@yahoo.co or Sarah Wegner at sarah.wegner@girlscoutsrv.org

Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run of Bluff Country will meet to plan the New Balance Girls on the Run 5K on May 16 at Colvill Park and end-of-season banquets scheduled for May 27 and 28.

If you are interested in assisting with this planning, attend Friday's meeting at noon in the YMCA Teen Room. Bring a bag lunch.

Contact Martha Harris at runnergirl@redwing.net

Guardians

Goodhue County Historical Society needs guardians. They monitor the exhibits and artifacts throughout the building and answer visitor's questions . Guardias walk throughout the museum every 45 minutes and work on museum projects.

The guardians work a rotating schedule of one Saturday or Sunday a month or every other month from 1 to 5 p.m. We have also partnered with the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program. If a volunteer is over 55, they may receive benefits through RSVP. Contact Diane Buganski, library services and outreach, at (651) 388-6024

Guitar supplies

Minnesota Correctional Facility-Red Wing is looking for supplies for guitar classes. Items that are needed; acoustic guitars, strings, guitar stands, music stands, guitar shoulder straps and guitar tuners. If you have donations, contact Elise Moseng at (651) 267-3755.

Volunteers United is a group convened by the United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha & Pierce Counties and is open to any organization interested in networking around volunteer recruitment, retention and development.

Meetings take place the second Wednesday of every other month from 11 a.m. to noon at the Red Wing Family YMCA. The next meeting will be May 13.

For information contact Tonya Roth (651) 388-6309 or tonya.roth@unitedway.org

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