As the holiday craziness ebbs a bit and the New Year approaches, our lives begin to settle down a bit, hopefully.
I was sitting in church last week listening to the sermon and later reading the bulletin that our church, St. Timothy’s, puts out each week. In January, our church is set to house homeless families for two weeks in a program they do every year called “Warm Winter Nights.”
My own family will volunteer to donate food for this endeavor as well as offer homework help to children who will be staying in our church over the two-week period. This got me thinking about how each of us could give a little something back, even if we don’t have the financial means to do so, there is no greater gift than our time.
Tri-Valley Haven, the only rape crisis center in the Tri-Valley, is a great place to start. Now entering its fourth decade, this local institution helps those who have experienced domestic violence, rape, or even homelessness. There are numerous opportunities to donate your time, whether you offer moral support for those in need, help in their food pantry, or even help in their childcare center. You can contact Stacy Connors by email, or go to the organization's website.
Are you an animal lover? If so, what about helping animals in need through the Tri-Valley Humane Society. They hold an orientation each month for new volunteers. You can visit their website and click “volunteer” to register.
If you already have a dog, perhaps your family pet would be a candidate to be a reading buddy or even a therapeutic pet to make visits to nursing homes or hospitals. There are those who are sick who would take immense comfort by simply petting a dog. Consider donating your time and your pet through the humane society's canine companion program.
There are even opportunities for younger volunteers to get involved, especially with animals. We recently adopted a new kitten through Tri-Valley Animal Rescue. In a program called “Giving The Another Chance,” tweens and teens ages 10 to 17 can volunteer Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Volunteers get the chance to interact and socialize with animals at the shelter that were either surrendered by their owners or are homeless pets. Visit T-VAR’s site to learn more.
The City of San Ramon offers numerous volunteer opportunities that change with the season, through their City Lights volunteerism program. Whether you want to be a docent at Forest Home Farms or Crow Canyon Gardens, or even help drive seniors to and from appointments through the Senior Center. Log on here to learn more.
Each of us, no matter how busy are lives are, can give our time, whether it is an hour each week, or even helping once a month. There are opportunities out there for us all. Perhaps a good resolution as we head into the New Year is to give of yourself to help others.
Do you know of good volunteer opportunities in the Tri-Valley? Let the community know in the comments section.