Giving back: Summer at the YWCA

GIVINGBACKywca

Local nonprofits tell us more about their programs and the volunteering opportunities that are currently available. This week Angel Redmond, outreach coordinator for the YWCA of Asheville, tells us about summer volunteering opportunities.

Mountain Xpress: What are the volunteering needs the YWCA has going into this summer?  

Redmond: There are a variety of ways you can volunteer this summer.  If you love working with children, there are opportunities in our Child Care Center and our School-Age Department, which provides an after-school program and a summer camp for ages 5-12.

Our Drop-In program has all ages of children and always has a need for readers and listeners.  Volunteers may help with snack time, read stories, play games, lead craft projects, sing songs or provide homework help.

In addition to volunteer opportunities that involve working with children, there are clerical and even building maintenance  positions.  A volunteer with our administrative team may take photos of events, archive media clippings or create fliers, though there are even more options depending on the talents of the volunteer.

We also have a special need for Spanish speakers for our Salsa, Sabor y Salud program, developed by the National Latino Children’s Institute. Facilitators and volunteers will help parents and children incorporate healthy eating and physical activity into their daily routine by leading culturally relevant activities and discussing ways that families can make small steps toward their wellness goals.  We will offer the program completely in Spanish, though Spanish fluency isn’t required to work with the children’s group —  though previous experience working with children is.

What are the requirements for being a volunteer?

It’s quite easy! After filling out an application, you’ll receive an orientation where we connect you to a department where your gifts will be a good fit.  Working with children requires you to be at least 16 years old, submit to a TB screening and pass a background check.

Can you give us some examples of the work your volunteers have done?

Here is a wonderful example of volunteers and their impact on our YW community: Members from our local chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) take turns with volunteer shifts in our Drop-In Child Care. Their support helps us to assist low-income mothers who are reentering the workforce, taking GED classes at AB Tech and attending appointments.

As part of Keller Williams’ Red Day, the company’s annual day of service, the staff of the Asheville branch donate their time for an entire day. This May they built new beds for the School Age Department’s garden maintains and did extensive yardwork  on our natural learning playgrounds.

Whether by yourself or with a group, volunteering your time helps support our programs and our mission – empowering women and eliminating racism!

To learn more about the volunteering at the YWCA of Asheville, contact Angel Redmond at 254-7206 x. 219 or at angel.redmond@ywcaofavl.org to discuss opportunities and receive an application. 

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About Carrie Eidson
Carrie Eidson is a multimedia journalist and editor at Mountain Xpress. She can be reached at ceidson@mountainx.com.

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