“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” ― Barack Obama
Volunteers are essential for Liberty’s Lutheran Children and Family Service (LCFS) to provide services to the most vulnerable populations across Eastern and Central Pennsylvania. Volunteers allow our organization to provide services to more clients, more effectively. Volunteers can also greatly benefit from the time they dedicate to LCFS. Volunteers are able to form meaningful relationships with clients and staff, develop professional skills, and make a meaningful contribution to their community.
My name is Amanda Beardall and I am the Welcoming Communities Coordinator for Lutheran Children and Family Service and an AmeriCorps*VISTA serving with the Philly Fellows program. My role is to increase volunteer capacity and strengthen communities through civic engagement. I recruit, manage, orient, support, and evaluate volunteers to ensure both our agency and volunteers have the best experience possible. I am looking for caring and compassionate volunteers to support some of the following LCFS programs – BOOST (Best Out of School Time), the West Philadelphia Senior Community Center, and Refugee Resettlement (including the Refugee Mental Health Collaborative.)
Volunteering has been close to my heart for a long time. I started volunteering as a way of getting more involved with organizations that had personally impacted me as a child. During high school, I volunteered at the Oregon Zoo and Outdoor School, an outdoor education non-profit. I continued to volunteer in college as a way of giving back, to learn through hands-on experiences and to connect with people throughout the greater Philadelphia area. Among my volunteer experiences in college, I mentored a charter school student, taught art classes for four years at an elementary school in Overbrook, and organized weekly service events for students through Bryn Mawr College’s Civic Engagement Office.
Volunteering has empowered me to address larger social issues on a personal level. Through service I have met incredible people and made meaningful connections that have inspired me to grow as a person and as a leader. The work we do at LCFS is significant to me because we provide individuals in need with the resources and tools to thrive in our communities. That’s why I am turning to you.
Interested in teaching?
- Assist with English classes for Burmese and Bhutanese refugees with the Refugee Mental Health Collaborative in South Philadelphia.
- Teach a class for seniors at the West Philadelphia Senior Center. Particular classes of need include Spanish, scrapbooking, yoga, quilting, woodworking, sewing, creative writing, photography, jewelry making, and walking.
- Lead a club/class with the BOOST elementary and middle school programs or a college/career workshop with the BOOST high school program. Potential classes include: dance, debate, chess, robotics, art, theater, yoga, spoken word, or chorus.
Looking for group volunteer opportunities?
- Set up a refugee apartment for a refugee family to ensure they have all of their basic essentials before they arrive in the U.S.
- Co-sponsor a refugee family to help them transition to the U.S by providing resources and support.
- Collect donations in your community to provide refugees with the clothing, furniture, and household items they need to begin their new lives.
Need a flexible volunteer schedule?
- Help with monthly events at the Refugee Mental Health Collaborative. Possible tasks include child care and event set up and clean up.
- Help refugees on an as needed basis by escorting them to appointments and/or providing translation (Arabic, Burmese, Nepali, Tigrinya, Kinyarwanda, and/or Swahili are particularly needed.)
- Reach out to the community to recruit more members for the West Philadelphia Senior Community Center.
Want to help with homework?
- Work with Burmese and Bhutanese youth at the Homework Help club at the Refugee Mental Health Collaborative.
- Provide homework assistance with the BOOST program. Tutors are needed for all age levels.
Looking to volunteer intensively?
- Volunteer as a refugee mentor to advocate, teach, and mentor newly arrived refugees to help them achieve self-sufficiency.
If interested in any of these opportunities, please e-mail Amanda Beardall at firstname.lastname@example.org.