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How and where you can volunteer time helping others
The Place of Forsyth

National Volunteer Week is April 18-24, and the community owes so much to those who volunteer in Forsyth County. 

National Volunteer Week first in the United States in 1974 and has since grown. The idea is to observe the week by looking for volunteer opportunities in the local community.

Families, neighborhoods, school and business groups can find volunteer opportunities by searching the free website www.JustServe.org. JustServe matches nonprofit organizations’ needs with individuals and groups who are willing to give their time and strength to fulfill those needs. Its purpose is to unify and strengthen the community. 

Dawn Berg, volunteer and local representative for JustServe in Forsyth County and surrounding areas, shares how simple it is to find projects on the free JustServe.org website. 

“It’s easy to register on JustServe.org. Just choose a username and password and start searching the volunteer opportunities,” Berg said. “When you find a project that you like, select it, and then you’re good to go.” 

Berg shared how to find service opportunities for families or neighborhoods on JustServe using the “+more search option.” 

“Once you’ve entered ‘suitable for all ages’ then scroll down the page to see the opportunities. You can also find service opportunities listed geographically within a radius of the zip code that you search.” 

The website lists volunteer opportunities all over the nation, so individuals or families who travel for vacations or reunions can find projects in their destination locations. This is a great way to strengthen family ties. 

 Here are some projects in the Cumming area listed on JustServe:

-Cumming Home Ministries serves homeless men who have lost their way and are trying to transition back into society.  They run a thrift store on 429 Canton Hwy. in Cumming, and it has some minor repair needs (i.e. patching nail holes in walls, painting, replace ceiling tiles along with other misc. repairs)

-Food For Thought needs volunteers to help collect food items on the second Saturday of every other month and deliver to Sgt. DP Land Memorial Lodge. June 12, Aug. 14, Oct. 9 and Dec. 11.  

Pick-up volunteers will be given a route with map and directions before the day of the event. They try to organize pick-up routes so they’re as close to your home as possible and provide maps and new bags to leave at homes when you pick-up a bag.  Bring a partner --  it’s much easier with at least two people (one to drive and one to navigate), or make it a family-time trip so kids and adults can volunteer together.  That’s all it takes to be a Volunteer Driver. 

-The Place is a nonprofit Social Service Organization that has passionately served residents of Forsyth County since 1975. The Place assists resident families with emergency basic needs in difficult times. In addition, The Place also operates an onsite thrift store that provides affordable merchandise to the public. They need food stockers, thrift store volunteers, gardeners and truck driver (food pick-up) assistants.

-There are many opportunities for volunteers at BearfootRanch: grooming and feeding horses, cleaning stalls, building and fence repair, and helping with therapy lessons are just a few of the areas in need of volunteers. They also need volunteers to exercise horses (audition required to ride on horses). Ages 13 and up can volunteer without parents, ages 8 and up with a parent. Adult volunteers are needed Tuesday through Saturday to monitor children during lessons and camps.

Visit www.justserve.org for these volunteer opportunities and many other ways to serve.

For more information about how to volunteer in the local community, or if you are a non-profit in need of volunteers and would like to have your project posted on www.JustServe.org, contact Berg at dawnberg@hotmail.com


Lori Wynne and Susan Swann contributed to this article.