It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Volunteering is a gift that truly benefits both the giver and receiver -- by changing lives in profound and meaningful ways in your community. Family Pathways depends on volunteers like you to help us build stronger communities. Volunteers help in Food Pantries, Youth Services, Senior Services, Thrift Stores, the Book Store, and in Administration. To help both yourself and others by volunteering at Family Pathways, see our testimonials and open positions below.
"It might not seem like fun, but volunteering at the thrift store is one of my favorite things to do!" Jerry says of his experience at the Wyoming Thrift Store. Like dozens of Family Pathways volunteers working at the ten stores, Jerry's day is never the same. Sometimes he welcomes people who come in to donate items. Sometimes he sorts through antiques and sometimes he arranges items out on the store shelves. "I love watching little kids come in and finding a treasure. I also love being able to find a few of my own at the same time."
Volunteers at the thrift store can assist on the sales floor, sort and price merchandise, or receive donations. The thrift stores provide an excellent way to fulfill community service requirements for work, school, or church.
Food Shelf Volunteers"Being hungry does terrible things to one's self-esteem," according to a former client of Family Pathways Food Shelves.
A volunteer at the food Shelves says:"People ask me why I volunteer at the food shelf. I am retired and need something to do and it is a way for me to help others. A win/win situation. I can work a 3 hour shift and still enjoy my retirement. Young families that come in for assistance like a smile and a little reassurance from an older person and I like those smiles in return. The sharing and learning goes both ways."
Food Shelves and Advocacy programs help provide families with the tools they need to gain footing in rocky realities. Food Shelf volunteers are the critical link in providing friendly, confidential assistance to those often shy about asking for help.
Youth programming is geared to build assets in youth that will provide them skills necessary to grow into caring, healthy adults. Volunteers bring experiences, a listening ear, compassion and a willingness to share life lessons, all things so valuable to build assets in youth.
To help Family Pathways light that spark in youth, call to see where you can help. Whether you have an hour a week or a day, the youth will benefit from your time.
Teen Centers - open 5 days a week, volunteers help with homework, teach or help with crafts or cooking, play games or talk with the youth about their "Spark".
Senior Services volunteers support two programs, Companionship and The Gathering - Senior Social Respite Events.
Companionship volunteers visit weekly one-on-one with a senior in his or her home. The volunteer and the senior are paired up by the Senior Services Coordinator based on their interests and needs.
Joyce has been volunteering as a Companion to Jody for over 3 years. The two have become close friends. Occasionally Joyce drives Jody to the grocery when her son is out of town, but their favorite visits are spent at Jody’s kitchen table, chatting while working on a jigsaw puzzle. “I was asked to visit Jody because she was alone most of the week after her husband died, but now I realize how much I needed another friend in my life too. Life is all about the people we know and love!”
Family Pathway’s Social Respite program hosts a four-hour event at local churches two times each month. These events are known as “The Gathering.” Volunteers provide the attention needed by people suffering with early to mid-stage memory loss to have an enjoyable time reminiscing and socializing, participating in exercise, games, crafts and sharing a meal. Other volunteers make lunch, organize craft projects, or make calls to confirm who will be able to attend. All of these gifts of time allow the family caregiver to be comfortable taking a few hours to do something else. The person with memory loss gets the “social” outing while the caregiver gets the “respite.”
“Sometimes I think I look forward to the Gathering more than the clients do. We have a great time, plus I know from my own life how hard it is to always be “on call” for a person with Alzheimer’s. It feels good to give a few hours a month to help another family cope with that challenge.”
Volunteers at North Branch Used Books help by sorting and shelving books and keeping the store clean and welcoming.
To volunteer at the Book Store, call Jane at 651-277-0098.
Maintaining databases and sending out written communication to Family Pathways donors can occupy several days' time each month. Luckily Family Pathways has the support of accurate and reliable volunteers to assist with these jobs.
Volunteers are also needed to help with mass mailings and other office and telephone support. Occasional help with special events is also needed. Special events can include volunteer recognition dinners or fundraising events.
To Volunteer for Administration call Cathy at 763-552-7284.
You may also use the toll free number to get connected to any of the programs: 1-877-321-7100