Update: 9/19/13 6:05 PM
Governor Tomblin is encouraging West Virginians to participate in a project at least one day during the two-week span of September 15 to 29 as part of ‘Day to Serve.’
It’s an effort to strengthen communities through volunteer service.
For a lot of people, it's a great way to give back.
"Out of the house and get 'em out there and involved and I think a lot of people find a lot of meaning in their life when they're out there volunteering,” says Brenda Ridgeway, associate director of the Latrobe Street Mission.
Volunteers are integral to what they do at the Mission.
"When we first opened they were here helping us get open,” Ridgeway says. “They were also here helping us fill some hours, we were kind of short-staffed in the beginning."
The Mission offers a place where people can continue to volunteer.
"They come out and they serve and they see how good it makes them feel. I think from that they'll find a place in the future that they'll want to serve even more than just a designated time,” Ridgeway says.
They rely on three to five volunteers a day, both in the Mission and thrift store.
"Kitchen coming in we'll have a great opportunity for people to come that wanna just cook and that may be where their heart is,” Ridgeway says. “We hope to get a recycling going on clothing and we'll need a lot of people that just wanna come in and sort clothes."
Many different age groups are represented.
“Teenagers coming from high schools; we have an 80-year-old lady that wants to come and she just sits and answers phones,” Ridgeway says. “So there's no limitations to anyone's age, as far as helping out."
What kind of qualities stand out in a volunteer?
"Somebody that's outgoing, that can just come in and find an area, see a need and just say, 'ya know I noticed this’ and just try to meet it,” Ridgeway says.
Some ‘Day to Serve’ ideas to get you started:
Help the hungry/homeless; adopt a senior citizen "grand-friend", school activities, neighborhood enhancement, special needs support; the environment and working with younger children -- or anything you can come up with.
Governor Tomblin is encouraging West Virginians to participate in Day to Serve September 15 to 29.
It's the second annual effort to strengthen communities through volunteer service.
According to the governor, hardworking people across the Mountain State make a difference every day.
He says no other state rivals our community spirit, so we should take this opportunity to come together to reinforce our strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor.
"Volunteers are a big portion of what we do here at Latrobe Street Mission," says Associate Director Brenda Ridgeway. "When we first opened they were here helping us get open. They were also here helping us fill some hours, we were kind of short-staffed in the beginning."
Ridgeway says it's still good to have extra volunteers on hand to help with everything from answering phones to sorting clothes to restocking shelves to the thrift store.