Anyone from Minnesota who joins the Arbor Day Foundation in February will receive 10 free Colorado blue spruce trees to plant when the weather turns warm. The free trees are part of the nonprofit Foundation’s Trees for America campaign.
“The blue-green hue and distinctive shape of Colorado blue spruce trees will help beautify Minnesota for many years to come,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “The trees will also add to the proud heritage of Minnesota’s existing Tree City USA communities.”
The Tree City USA program has supported community forestry throughout the country for more than 35 years.
The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting, between March 1 and May 31, with enclosed planting instructions. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow, or they will be replaced free of charge.
Members also receive a subscription to the Foundation’s colorful bimonthly publication, Arbor Day, and The Tree Book, which contains information about planting and care.
To become a member of the foundation and receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to “10 Free Colorado Blue Spruce Trees,” Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, Neb. 68410, by Feb. 28 or visit arborday.org/february.
United Way Volunteer Opportunities
Team up to mentor a youth
Big Brothers Big Sisters is looking for Big Couples. Two adults can team up to mentor a youth. “Couples” may be a spouse, significant other or close friend. As a Big Couple, the two mentors provide a child with a team of support. Big Couples will be enrolled in the community-based program to provide friendship, emotional support and hope to young people with whom they are matched. The volunteers will meet with their Little three to four times a month for 12 months. Contact Rachel Bogenrief, Big Brothers Big Sisters, at 320-258-4537.
Meals on Wheels
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud serves people across the heart of Minnesota. Volunteers are vital to helping meet the needs of the more than 71,000 people they serve annually. Volunteers are needed in the rural areas for their Meals on Wheels program, a program serving meals to seniors unable to leave their home. Contact Kathleen Milligan, Catholic Charities volunteer coordinator, at 320-229-4590.
Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity’s thrift store ~ ReStore
The ReStore is a discount home-improvement retail store. It’s owned and operated by Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity. Individuals and businesses donate new and used home-improvement and building materials that are sold at a discount in the store. The sales fund their mission by providing affordable housing to low-income families. Anyone from the public can shop or donate items. The majority of the ReStore team are volunteers. Volunteers can come for a one-time experience or on a regular basis. One-time volunteers help with general store tasks such as loading/unloading items, cleaning and stocking the floor. Volunteers who commit to coming for one shift per week have the option of being trained in a variety of roles. To sign up for a one-time experience, go to www.cmhfh.org/pages/OnlineSign-up. Internship opportunities are available year-round to gain business, management and marketing experience. Contact them for more information about volunteer roles, a tour or about donations. Contact Melanie Blake, volunteer manager, at 320-248-8256 or email@example.com.
Volunteer for English language learner class
Casa Guadalupe Multicultural Community provides free English language learner classes to adult native-Spanish speakers in Cold Spring and the surrounding areas. Volunteers will work one-on-one with an adult student to improve their English language skills. Classes take place in Cold Spring and training will be provided. Previous volunteers have found this experience to be extremely rewarding. Contact Mayuli Bales, Casa Guadalupe Multicultural Community, at 320-685-3949.
Speedy, Transport and Escort Pool ~ STEP Force Volunteers
St. Cloud Hospital is looking for STEP Force volunteers, which means speedy, transport and escort pool. STEP Force volunteers transport and escort patients, families and visitors throughout the facility. Volunteers will transport patients, deliver flowers and mail, and assist with other deliveries. Volunteers will get plenty of exercise and make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Contact CentraCare Volunteer Services at 320-255-5638 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Facility support volunteer
Anna Marie’s Alliance mission is to provide a safe place for victims of domestic abuse and to achieve systems change that reduces violence. They are looking for volunteers to assist with the organization and maintenance of donated items, assemble welcome bags for new residents, sweeping, vacuuming and keeping the facility organized. Weekday shifts available. Contact Kim, Anna Marie’s Alliance, at 320-253- 6900.
Spend a weekend at camp
Boy Scouts of America, Central Minnesota Council is looking for volunteers to help with programs, crafts, waterfront, kitchen duties and more. Spend a weekend in June or early July on North Long Lake, Nisswa. Volunteers are needed to enhance the camp experience for Cub Scouts and their families. Contact Mary Herlick, Boy Scouts of America – Central Minnesota Council, at 320-251-3930.
RSVP…Your Invitation to Serve!
RSVP is a volunteer program for men and women aged 55 and better offering a variety of one-time and on-going volunteer opportunities within 220 local human-service organizations. With RSVP, volunteers choose how and where they want to serve. They choose the amount of time they want to give. And they choose whether they want to draw on current skills or develop new ones. Volunteers can utilize optional mileage reimbursement through RSVP. Contact RSVP at 320-255-7295 or visit www.ci.stcloud.mn.us/RSVP.
Each year, Junior Achievement in the St. Cloud area partners with community volunteers to deliver programs to more than 28 local schools in 275 classrooms. By sharing their personal and professional experiences and skills, volunteers help students make the connection between what they are learning in school and what they will need to succeed in work and life. The time commitment is minimal, scheduling is flexible and training is provided. Depending on the age of the students, volunteers make between five to seven visits to their classroom. Each visit lasts between 30 and 45 minutes. Volunteers select a local classroom in which they want to work and are provided a packet of materials, which contains detailed lesson plans and hands-on activities to engage the students. As a volunteer you will help local students learn the value of controlling their own financial future, while they acquire the important life skills of communication, teamwork, critical thinking and decision making. Contact Alli Nepsund, Junior Achievement, at 320-310-2165.
Readers for the blind
Looking for an opportunity to help the blind or print-disabled receive local news? Become a volunteer with Central Minnesota Audio Newspapers and read newspapers over a closed-radio network which is part of the Radio Talking Book Network. Read one or two evenings a month. Schedule is flexible. A one-year commitment is desired. Volunteers must pass an oral reading test. Contact Rita Woeste, Central Minnesota Audio Newspapers, at 320-293-2273.
For more information, contact Mary Krippner, United Way volunteer engagement coordinator, at 320-223-7991 or email@example.com.