Want to volunteer? You have many options in the Tennessee Valley

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – You have many opportunities to give in the Tennessee Valley.  Whether it’s through time or money, many local organizations could use your help during the holidays and all year long.

The United Way of Madison County works to connect those who can help with those in need. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

The Downtown Rescue Mission can always use volunteers to serve meals, sort donations, clean, do clerical work, campus beautification, help in our on campus Agape Shoppe or one of seven area thrift stores, mentor those in our recovery program, help with child care, lead arts/crafts with our kids, sponsor a chapel service (message & music) or lead meal time devotion (10-15 min.), help with community, fundraising, and in-house events, etc. After Christmas, we’ll also need volunteers to help take down all of our decorations and organize them neatly into the storage closet. As of now, all three meals are open for volunteers on MLK Day.  Sign up to volunteer at downtownrescuemission.org.

The Food Bank of North Alabama needs volunteers several days a week in 2 ½ hour shifts to help us with sorting and inspecting donated food in our warehouse. We can host up to six volunteers at a time. They come from 9-11:30 and 1-3:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from 9-11:30 on Friday mornings. We are pretty full through 2016 but are looking to fill 2017 volunteer slots. We are closed on Martin Luther King Day and thus won’t be hosting volunteers then. Sign up to volunteer at foodbanknorthal.org.

Friends, Inc. offers caring volunteer services in Huntsville and Madison County to people diagnosed with a serious illness or disability. This could include helping the person and their family understand the new situations, issues or lifestyle changes.  Friends, Inc. volunteers receive ongoing training and support. Volunteers are offered volunteer opportunities that meet their interests and availability. There is no minimum time commitment for volunteers with Friends, Inc. To get involved, visit friendsinc.net.

Hospice Family Care is looking for singers to help with Christmas Caroling at local homes and facilities. This will take place the week of Dec. 19-23, with flexible schedules.  Or, make a New Year’s Resolution to volunteer any time. You can also be a friend on MLK Day by visiting patients in local facilities or performing a chore for at-home patients. Please visit hospicefamilycare.org.

R. Fathers M.A.D., which stands for Real Fathers Making a Difference, is looking for volunteers for its After School Community Tutoring Program.  Join Our AdvoCare Team: We are seeking educators and tutors as we enter the 2nd semester of this school year for all subjects and all grades. If you have the ability to commit and knowledge of the desired subject with at least an ounce of passion for making a difference, we need you! Hours of academic encouragement; Tuesdays & Thursdays 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Request an application or receive more details by calling (256) 517-8395 or emailing admin@rfathersmad.org.

Huntsville Ballet Company presents different performances through the year. Once the Nutcracker is finished in December, HBC will look ahead to April for more performances at the VBC, and could use volunteer help.  Training for ushers is required by the VBC, so if you’d like to help with something in the future, please send an email here to get the process started: ushers.hsv.ballet@gmail.com

Huntsville Botanical Garden will open its new Guest Welcome Center in early Spring 2017.  On Sunday, January 22, 2017, there will be a Member and Volunteer Orientation in order to inform and recruit new volunteers to help us with this transition and supplement the volunteer requests throughout the Garden.  Please contact Cookie Adams cadams@hsvbg.org to sign up, or visit hsvbg.org for What’s Growing On at the Garden.

Want to learn about other opportunities to get involved? Visit this link for the Volunteer Center of Madison County to find out where you can help. You can search by Needs, Events or Agencies to get plugged in.