The heart of a volunteer beats for the holidays, and we have the town’s pulse.
With the holiday season upon us, there’s no better time to volunteer your time, talents, and passion for a worthy cause. We compiled a list of local organizations and some ways that you can brighten both yours and someone else’s holiday season.
Maple Grove Lions Club, a service organization made up of all volunteers, holds fundraising events ranging from golf tournaments to craft shows. “The money we earn goes directly back into our community in the form of scholarship, grants, and donations and individuals who need a hand,” says former president Steve Larson. The local club is always seeking new members.
C.R.O.S.S. (Christians Reaching Out in Social Service) provides food, clothing, household items, and a range of services to 600 Northwest Hennepin County individuals and families each month. “We help people through those rough times so they can move on,” says Char Lake, director. Volunteers looking to help out can donate food, furniture, and household items, sort food, stock shelves or bag groceries.
Finding “forever homes” for homeless animals is the solitary mission of Happy Tails Rescue, an all-volunteer, no-kill rescue organization. They keep their website updated with photos and information on animals that are just waiting for the perfect home. Want to give back but don’t want to make such a big commitment? Happy Tails is also in need of great foster homes. Still too much? How about fundraising, transporting animals, or answering phones?
Maple Grove Arts Center offers classes, art displays, musical and theatrical exploration, all the while building an appreciation for the arts in our community. Folks who are interested in helping perpetuate this valiant cause can donate their time (mentoring, monitoring open studio space, helping with events), materials or supplies (storage bins, paints, drawing pencils, etc.).
With over 27,000 acres of some of the most beautiful terrain in our state, Three Rivers Park District draws in as many as 8 million park guests per year; that’s a lot of moving parts, and a lot of volunteers hours to ensure it all runs smoothly. Volunteers can work with animals, observe and record data, become a park patrol, help with school programs, adopt a trail, collect native wildflower seeds; and that’s just the short list.
Osseo School District 279 is the fifth-largest school district in the state, boasting a student enrollment over 21,000. So it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer. From helping students with homework to shelving books in media centers to going on field trips, stuffing envelopes, or being a mentor, there is truly something for everyone.
With an ultimate commitment to ‘Service Above Self,’ Rotary Club of Maple Grove reaches out to serve in a myriad of ways, including mentoring students in local high schools, donating food and cash to food shelves, and funding initiatives that help to bring clean water to children in Haiti.
Through conservation and preservation, the collection of historical materials, and advocacy and education, the Maple Grove Historical Preservation Society keeps the history of Maple Grove alive and well. Interested parties can purchase pavers for the Historic Oxcart Site, submit artifacts and photographs to be used in exhibits and displays, or join the society for a nominal fee.
Since 1999, the Maple Grove Ambassador Program has awarded $52,000 in educational scholarships and provided hard-to-find leadership opportunities for young women ages 17–21. Each year, three young women are chosen to represent Maple Grove, where they volunteer at schools, senior centers, attend events, and help raise funds for local organizations. Sponsorships and donations are always welcomed, and applications for 2012 are now being accepted.
Since 1988, Maple Grove Community Organization has made its mission to promote city heritage and foster community pride through beloved events. Over 300 volunteers helped with Maple Grove Days alone. Want to throw your hat in the ring? Meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Maple Grove Community Center.