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VOL. 127 | NO. 222 | Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jeremy Park

Four Easy Volunteer Opportunities

By Jeremy Park

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Last week we revisited one of the original thoughts that kicked off this “Giving Back” column more than two years ago with the power of hosting a “beneficial watch party.” This week let us share four volunteer opportunities, which are easy ways to give back and get engaged in our community.

This Saturday, Nov. 17, hundreds of volunteers will converge on McKellar Lake from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for a cleanup effort. So far, more than 15,000 pounds of trash has been removed from the area, but there is still more work to be done. The cleanup coincides with America Recycles Day and all plastic, glass, Styrofoam and aluminum will be recycled. Volunteers will meet at the Riverside Marina and will also be cleaning up Treasure Island, which sits in the middle of the Lake. This is a fun opportunity to physically help clean our city and see the immediate impact. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Colton Cockrum at ccockrum@memphis.edu or 678-3084.

For those looking to give back over the holidays, Shelby Farms Park needs volunteers for Starry Nights. Starry Nights is a longstanding tradition with more than 1.5 million lights illuminating the night sky in the largest holiday light show and festival in the Mid-South. Plus, there are camel rides, a petting zoo, pictures with Santa, a magical Mistletoe Village and more. Volunteers (minimum age 16) will be needed from Nov. 23 to Dec. 28 to help with various duties, like ticket sales, program distribution, directing traffic and merchandise sales. Shifts are Sunday through Thursday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. for merchandise sales only. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Irene Montanez at imontanez@shelbyfarmspark.org or 767-7275 ext 312.

Memphis Athletic Ministries is looking for volunteers to help youth with homework after school each weekday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. They are providing homework help at 12 neighborhood centers to more than 500 elementary youth after school and need volunteers to assist elementary and middle school students. If you are interested in helping, even on a sporadic basis, please contact Amy Speropoulos at volunteer@mamsports.org.

The Memphis Crisis Center has been a volunteer-powered lifeline to hope for over 40 years. Trained volunteers, using a combination of empathic listening and crisis intervention, help callers in distress and link them with the long-term resources they need to cope and overcome. Along with the Crisis Line, the Memphis Crisis Center also administers the Call-4-Kids Hotline, the Senior-B-Safe Line, the Ryan White HIV Care Line and is the local affiliate of National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. All programs are free, safe, and confidential. If you or someone you know might be interested in volunteering to answer the Hotline (at least 18 years of age), contact volunteers@crisis7.org or call 649-8572 to learn more.

Jeremy Park, director of the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, can be reached at jeremyp@lpinsurance.com and followed on Twitter (@lpbreakfastclub) and Facebook (facebook.com/lpbreakfastclub).

PROPERTY SALES 36 154 6,546
MORTGAGES 34 94 4,129
BUILDING PERMITS 201 554 15,915
BANKRUPTCIES 43 126 3,396