• December 20, 2014

Fair touts volunteer opportunities

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Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 4:30 am

To share the variety of volunteer opportunities available at Fort Hood and the surrounding community, the post’s Army Volunteer Corps hosted an information fair Thursday at Oveta Culp Hobby Soldier and Family Readiness Center.

This was the fifth year the corps, headquartered with Army Community Service, held an event to network agencies with people looking to donate time, said CarolAnn Hone, volunteer programs coordinator.

“We are giving volunteers the opportunity to come out and talk to people one on one,” she said.

Typically volunteer opportunities are listed in their office, but meeting in person benefits both parties, Hone said.

“If nothing else, it’s awareness of the nonprofits and services available to military families and soldiers,” she said. “It’s getting the word out there.”

Meg Barrett, of Kids on the Block Central Texas, spoke to people about volunteering with the nonprofit, educational program. The organization uses puppets to teach children about various subjects, including difficult ones such as divorce, deployments or sexual assault.

“We are looking for volunteers who are willing to educate and be silly,” Barrett said. “It’s a hard thing. The lines are scripted and you have to learn it. It takes time.”

Shakinah Marion, volunteer coordinator at Families In Crisis in Killeen, was on hand to educate people that the emergency shelter doesn’t just need people to volunteer within the facility, but also to coordinate donation drives.

“We want to let them know how to help us,” she said. “They can do drives at their jobs to collect things for the shelter. Right now we could use over-the-counter medications, bras, panties and socks.”

Talking to people on post, also helps spread the word the organization is there to help, Marion said.

“This is really good,” said Sandria Rosemond, spouse of a retiree. She is also retired and said she came to the fair to look for somewhere to spend a couple of hours volunteering.

“It would be new for me,” she said, holding several flyers she’d collected from various organizations.

Abha Cole, of Big Brothers Big Sisters, came to the fair last year within a week of taking on the outreach position. She said there are now more than 50 kids involved in the mentoring program.

“That’s significant,” she said.

Still hoping to grow the program, Cole said she’s in need of male mentors and female children.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities at or around Fort Hood, visit the volunteer corps office in Building 16005 at the corner of TJ Mills Boulevard and Old Ironsides Avenue or call 254-287-8657.

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