During my freshman year in high school, I knew I wanted to serve the community somehow, but I did not exactly know what steps to take. There were so many questions that I always thought about that made me nervous about serving.
Two of the major questions were:
1. How do I find the perfect place to serve?
2. If I find a place I want to serve, whom do I contact?
I am here to help you answer these questions!
In order to find the perfect place to serve, you must think about some things you like to do! Do you like playing with your younger siblings or interacting with your grandparents? Do you enjoy working in the yard or cleaning up around your house? Do you like a certain subject in school? Do you know what you would like to do as a profession? Write a list of three to five things that you enjoy doing.
Once you have completed your list, it is time to find an organization that deals with some of the things you enjoy. There are hundreds of different ways to serve the Fresno community! Click on the below to see a few of them and to find one or maybe even two that deal with the things you wrote down on your list.
When you think you have found a community service opportunity that best suits you, send the Richter Center Ambassadors an email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (559) 278-7079. We will be more than happy to help you contact an community service organization that you think you will enjoy J If you still have questions about a certain volunteer opportunity or still do not know the perfect place to serve, we will definitely answer all your questions and help you find the right place!
I hope that these 3 steps make it easy for you to find a way to serve the Fresno community!
“To empower children and families to achieve productive, self-reliant lives” is the mission of Reading and Beyond. This organization is focused on helping children gain skills and abilities that are necessary for a successful life. Research has found that helping families as a whole is just as important. Reading and Beyond is dedicated to building long-term relationships with families in order to keep children as distant as possible from any unhealthy behaviors.
Reading and Beyond’s target population is low-income families, children ages 0-18, and parents. The organization is able to serve them through a number of different programs:
- Literacy intervention for children
- Early childhood education
- Health education
- College preparation for children and parents
- Parent involvement
- Workforce development
Reading and Beyond does not only focus on schools to reach their desired population, but they also work within apartment complexes, shopping centers, and community organizations. They also conduct educational home visits.
If you are interested in working with children, then Reading and Beyond is a great place to start gaining experience. There are many sites around the Fresno area, and they offer flexible volunteering hours. For more information, visit readingandbeyond.org.
- Ambassador Val
Many of you have probably participated in a Jog-A-Thon during your elementary school years, but have you ever heard of a Serve-A-Thon?
This past weekend, the Richter Center Ambassadors completed the first part of our Serve-A-Thon to raise money for the Richter Center. Donors will pledge funds for every hour of service we complete.
Last weekend’s service was distributing fliers in local neighborhoods for the “Spring Cleaning,” or canned food and household goods drive, benefitting the Bulldog Pantry. The Bulldog Pantry is a student-run food pantry for low-income families and students. The Pantry distributes groceries to over 175 families in need every week and that number is constantly rising. The fliers we distributed called for canned or dry foods, gently used clothes and shoes, or any other household items that can be given to people at the Pantry.
Students volunteer at the Bulldog Pantry, a student-run food pantry that benefits the Fresno community.
This weekend, the Ambassadors are going back to the neighborhoods to pick up these donations. I am excited to see what donations we receive and how this will help the Bulldog Pantry. It is amazing what great things can be done when the community comes together!
- Ambassador Jillian
For the last 39 years, Poverello House, a nonprofit organization in the San Joaquin Valley, has been helping those in need. When people don’t have a place to sleep, Poverello House is there for them with shelter. When people do not have a bite to eat, Poverello House is there for them with a warm meal. The services offered there are for all people from different walks in life. On a daily basis, the organization touches the lives of the homeless in the Valley, women and children in need, the elderly, and also migrant farmworkers. Before I spoke to them at last semester’s volunteer fair, I didn’t know that this organization, located at 412 F Street, is more than just a soup home.
Other than providing warm meals, they provide people with shelter at all of their three facilities: Naomi’s House, a facility proving overnight shelter for single childless women, and the Michael McGarvin Jr. Village of Hope and Community of Hope, which provide people with an opportunity to better themselves by allowing them longer stays, not just overnight shelter. Other services they provide to people are substance abuse rehabilitation programs, as well as both individual and group counseling. They also have a clinic on site that provides free medical and dental services. As I was looking at their website I thought it was really cool how they even have a Homeless Court. This Homeless Court is for those individuals who are in a rehabilitation programs and want to fix any problems they may have had with the authorities.
As is with all nonprofit organizations, most of the work done at the Poverello House is by volunteers. So if you are ever looking for a place to volunteer or make a change in someone’s life, Poverello House welcomes anyone with a giving heart.
- Ambassador Paulina