United Way volunteer opportunities
Stamp Out Hunger set May 11
National Association of Letter Carrier’s Food Drive is scheduled for May 11. You can help Stamp Out Hunger by putting non-perishable food items by your mail box so your letter carrier can bring it to your local food shelf. Also, volunteers are needed to collect food when it’s dropped off at Catholic Charities Emergency Services. Call either Catholic Charities Emergency Services at 320-229-4568 or the Salvation Army at 320-252-1424.
Help at meal time
Volunteers are needed to help the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict with pouring beverages at meals Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at noon and every other Friday and Sunday evening at 5 p.m. for an hour. Help is also needed folding laundry on Saturdays. Contact Marina Schlangen, OSB, St. Scholastica’s volunteer coordinator, at 320-251-2225 or email@example.com.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is looking for dishroom assistants. Duties include washing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen and dining room after meals. Dining-room hostess volunteers are needed to clear tables and help with the dessert table. A winning smile is all that is required for this position. Contact Barb Nelson, the Salvation Army, at 320-257-7435.
Easy help for seniors
If you or your loved one needs a free cell phone that can be used to dial 911 for help, or if you have a cell phone to donate, Senior LinkAge can help. Must be age 60 or older (and not own a cell phone) or disabled to receive a free phone. Contact Senior LinkAge at 800-333-2433.
Volunteers are matched with older adults needing help with grocery shopping or running errands. Responsibilities will vary according to the individual’s needs. Sometimes the person may only need a ride to the store because they cannot drive. In other cases, job duties may include assisting with making a shopping list, transportation to the store of their choice and/or help with the actual shopping (reading labels, getting items off of shelves) carrying the groceries in and putting them away. Some requests are for shoppers to shop for the individual rather than accompanying them to the store. Drivers must be 21, have a reliable car, provide proof of insurance, and a good driving history. Contact Cherise Robb, Great River Area Faith in Action, at 320-258-8678.
Summer student volunteer program
St. Cloud Hospital Summer Student Volunteer Program needs your help. This is a great opportunity for students to gain work experience, explore career opportunities and make lasting friendships. Volunteer Monday-Friday for four weeks from 8 a.m.-noon or noon-4 p.m. or another four-hour shift for a total of 80 volunteer hours. Students must be self-motivated, work independently, care about others and have a desire to learn. Contact St. Cloud Hospital Volunteer Services at 320-255-5638 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food shelf help
The Salvation Army needs volunteers to help in their food shelf from 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. They are also looking for volunteers to help in the dining room with meals from 10:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday. Contact Barb Nelson, the Salvation Army, at 320-257-7435.
Help a child read, help a child with math
Help a child read. Help a child with math. Take part in a child’s education and learning by becoming a reader, tutor or mentor to a child at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota. Make a difference in a child’s life in as little as one hour a week. You will set your own schedule with the volunteer coordinator to fit your needs. We only ask volunteers be able to relate well with children in a group environment, participate as an active team member with staff and other volunteers, and abide by volunteer policies. All volunteers are asked to complete a criminal background check (cost is $3) before their first volunteer experience, as well as an interview and short orientation. Contact Bethany Theisen, Boys and Girls Club volunteer coordinator, at 320-257-5115.
Tri-CAP expands opportunities for the economic and social well-being of their residents. Qualified volunteers are needed to transport passengers using their own vehicles to medical appointments, social service appointments, visitations and other needs. The driver will provide rides for passengers as assigned by Tri-CAP within Stearns, Benton and Sherburne counties and the surrounding areas. Volunteer drivers are reimbursed at the Federal IRS rate. Drivers must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver’s license and be free from any drug/alcohol influence. The driver is required to carry automobile insurance as required by Minnesota State Law and to notify the insurance company of the volunteer driving position. A driver must keep all names and information about passengers confidential. Contact Tri-CAP at 320-202-7824.
NAMI meets in Sartell
The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota sponsors free support groups for families who have a relative with a mental illness. Led by trained facilitators who also have a family member with mental illness, the support groups help families develop better coping skills and find strength through sharing their experiences. A family support group meets in Sartell at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at Unity Spiritual Center, 931 5th Ave. N. For information, call Chuck at 320-290-7713.
County urges residents to receive tax info via email
Property tax statements for taxes payable in 2013 were recently mailed to Stearns County property owners. Property owners who signed up to receive electronic tax statements should have received them by now by email last week. It’s not too late to sign up to receive tax statements and tax notices electronically. Stearns County Auditor-Treasurer Randy Schreifels said electronic statements not only save the county money on printing and mailing costs, but provide better service to county residents.
“Electronic statements are much more convenient for our taxpayers,” Schreifels said. “They’ll get statements quicker, be able to store them easier electronically, and if they lose a statement we can send them a replacement copy without any problem.”
To sign up for electronic statements, go to the Stearns County website at www.co.stearns.mn.us, there’s a link in the blue box on the left side of the home page. Complete the online form and Stearns County will begin emailing the information. Those who are registered will receive their Truth-in-Taxation notice electronically as well as their property tax statement. Tax payments can also be made online on the Stearns County website. In addition, residents can subscribe to receive tax due-date reminders. First half of property taxes are due May 15. More information can be found on the website or any tax questions can be directed to the Stearns County Auditor-Treasurer’s office at 320-656-3870.
Arson Awareness Week starts Sunday
May 5 -11 is Arson Awareness Week in Minnesota. The theme is “Reducing Residential Arson.” Did you know 65 percent of Minnesota’s 318 incendiary structure fires reported in 2011 happened in residential properties? Residential arson can be prevented by implementing neighborhood clean-ups and improving internal and external security around homes and abandoned properties. Neighborhood crime prevention groups can add arson and suspicious activity to their watch. Nationally, 50 percent of arson arrests are children under the age of 18. In Minnesota in 2011, 55 percent of arson arrests were juveniles. Of the 91 kids arrested in Minnesota that year, some were younger than 10 years old. Juvenile arson is also primarily residential arson and can be prevented. If your child has experimented with or misused fire it can be deadly. Addressing misuse of fire early, with appropriate intervention, can prevent a child from getting hurt or killed, getting involved in the legal system or even becoming a serial arsonist. Youth Firesetting Prevention and Intervention teams are located throughout the state to provide appropriate intervention and stop this dangerous behavior before it is too late. Call 1-800-500-8897 to be connected with a local team who will set up a meeting with the family and determine the best intervention strategy. There are many reasons children start fires and the local teams are set up to help children and families be safe from fire and prevent juvenile arson.
St. Cloud Hospital NICU celebrates 25 years