More Americans than Ever Before are Volunteering

Volunteers from Lockridge Grindal Nauen take a break from building raised garden beds in the OAM garden at Sholom.

According to a CNN article, the latest statistics released by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) indicate the US is riding a wave of generosity driven by millions of people who freely offer their time, labor, and expertise. Read the full report here.

It comes as no surprise to JFS Volunteer Engagement Specialist Margie Solomon that the Minneapolis-St. Paul area ranked first in a survey of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the US. “Volunteer engagement can increase our organization’s capacity well beyond what our staff can do alone, so leveraging this resource is important for JFS,” said Margie. “Beyond building capacity for the agency, our volunteers sign up to help to gain personal fulfillment and to make an impact on older or disabled adults. Many volunteer out of sheer generosity or for their own desire for socialization and companionship. Others bring a specific skill or expertise that is valuable to the agency. It’s important that we consider the needs and motivations of our volunteers when making a match to sustain their ongoing engagement in the work of JFS.”

St. Paul Mitzvah Corp
What if you and your family and friends could gain fulfillment and purpose with a group volunteer opportunity where you will SEE the outcome of your community service with others over time? That’s the idea of the St. Paul Mitzvah Corp!

We have partnered with our friends at Sholom East and Open Arms Minnesota (OAM) to create our first-ever “full circle” volunteer experience to benefit elderly residents. We have engaged them in seed planting and indoor care, transferring the seedlings into the Open Arms Garden adjacent to the Shaller Camper in elder-accessible planters that you can see along the Otto Avenue border. Now we’re maintaining the garden throughout the summer.

During these activities, we combined our energy and passion with a phenomenal team from Lockridge Grindal Nauen, PLLP as part of their 40-4-40 initiative. This initiative commemorates the 40th anniversary of the firm’s founding in 1978 through 40 acts of public service throughout 2019, including volunteering with organizations serving the communities in which we operate and support for local non-profits.

We’re planning for our third phase of this project, where we hope to gather sometime around Sukkot in early October to harvest the fruits of our labor. Join us to get your hands dirty for an important cause: feeding nutritious meals to OAM’s Twin Cities clients with life-threatening illnesses. Complete this form at the bottom of the page.

Watch for more details about the St. Paul Mitzah Corp’s upcoming project Volunteer Adventure1.

Database Project Consultant
We are seeking a skilled database consultant for an upcoming community project. The perfect volunteer will come with advanced skills in Microsoft Excel and will work closely with JFS staff to design user-friendly tools and reports. The estimated time commitment is 10-15 hours over the course of the project, with the bulk of the work taking place in August/September, and then less frequently through December. This is an urgent need! Please help us spread the word! Complete this form at the bottom of the page.

Life Enrichment Volunteers
We are seeking volunteers willing to make a weekly or monthly commitment to walk, socialize, and generally provide friendship and companionship to our clients in need.

This is an easy and pleasurable way to support those in our community who are living independently but still need face-to-face connection with others and a means to get out in the world. This is a great family volunteering activity, and a way to impart the value of generosity and selflessness in your children and grandchildren. Plus, it will mean more than you know to those who receive your generous gift. Complete this form at the bottom of the page.

Russian Survivors Social Club
Our new, grant-funded social club for Russian Holocaust Survivors is in the planning stages, alongside the folks who will benefit from the program.

We are looking for Russian-speaking volunteers of all ages who can assist in the implementation of the fun activities we are planning. This opportunity requires minimal time commitment – around 2 hours per quarterly activity session – and will involve helping with set-up, assisting participants in the activity or outing, and ensuring an inclusive, language-friendly environment.

Are you, or do you know, a Russian-speaker who would like to be part of this exciting service to our friends in the community? Complete this form at the bottom of the page.

Contact Margie Solomon at (651) 690-8907 to learn more about these and all of the volunteer opportunities at JFS.