Monthly Archives: March 2013

Big Brothers Big Sisters in Just One, Two, Three!

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I had a rather different spring break than most college students my age. This year wasn’t about which beach to head to, what cruise line I should try to go on, or what awesome city I should try to visit. I decided to stay here, in good old Reno, Nevada. Early on, I had decided that if I was going to start getting involved in more than just a couple of volunteer projects, I needed to start using my free time to search for those opportunities. Mission accomplished. I am now involved in at least four different projects that will take place from now until July and I am thrilled!

In fact, the process was easy! There are a number of different websites that are easily accessible for those who want to know what organizations need volunteers as well as which areas are in need of those volunteers. Personally, Volunteermatch.org has always been a valuable resource. The site helps recruit volunteers, allows organizations to post for needed volunteers, and even has a blog where volunteermatch members can post their experiences, ideas, or projects, to share with readers, as well as have “guest” bloggers to share.

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Over spring break, I used volunteermatch.org to find some volunteer projects happening in Reno. I wanted to jump right in. Immediately, a list of different organizations and clubs in need of volunteers popped up and it was only a matter of reading through the descriptions of the roles of such volunteers that I picked one that interested me. I simply filled out a couple questions, basic things such as my name, date of birth, place of residence, and my email. The very next day, I was contacted by a representative of the organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters, to make inquiries about my interest in the organization. It was as easy as that.

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In early April, I will be attending an orientation put on by the organization to get a detailed explanation about what the organization does, who they help, and what we, as volunteers, bring to those who need help. More information about the organization is to come.

For now, I just wanted to share my joy with you. I hope this gives some of you a little inspiration. Perhaps you’ll want to join, check out the organization, or even find your own interests in volunteering.

Please check out Volunteermatch.org and other websites like it that can help with volunteer related opportunities. It’s a great way to become involved in the community, and if nothing else, at least you’ll know for future reference where you can turn for volunteer work.

Have a great week!

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Be Part of a Popular Local Event: The Reno Tahoe Odyssey (May 31-June 1)

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This week, I had the opportunity to sign up to volunteer for an extravagant event that takes place here in my very own city—the Reno Tahoe Odyssey presented by Intuit. RTO It is a wildly popular relay race made up of 178 miles that can take up to 33 hours to complete, depending on your team’s ability to race against time! The racers begin the relay in Reno, run along the Truckee River, trail along the shores of some of Lake Tahoe, and end back in downtown Reno, as shown here. The scenic views and historical trails of this race are some of the best reasons why teams have admitted to participating!

The event is highly organized, consisting of a mass amount of volunteers that are utilized for a variety of tasks. Each volunteer has a specific task—and stationed at a specific area along the route of the race. The nice thing about being a volunteer is that you are able to sign up for whichever position you would like, according to the volunteer signup website. As a volunteer, you have a variety of choices when deciding in which area you would like to be stationed—specific areas if you are volunteering for a team that is racing. When I signed up on the website, I chose two particular locations to volunteer because my oldest sister and her friends are one of the teams in the relay race, and I wanted to choose a station where I would have the chance to cheer her on and watch her race.

The great thing about an event like this is that, as a volunteer, you are able to invite others—friends, family, spouses—to be a part of it. General volunteers are also welcome, and can sign up for other job types if the race stations is something a person would rather not do. For this event, I am lucky to have my husband accompanying me! He hasn’t done much volunteer work, apart from the times I have suggested we work together, and we always have a great time. RTO 2 I expect a lot of great things from this event, including an opportunity to do good for the community in the company of my husband, meeting other Reno natives who are highly involved in the community, and create new friendships with those in the race, and those who are a part of the volunteer crew.

Opportunities like these are too good to pass up. Today, sign up to volunteer! Enjoy being outdoors, invite your friends or loved ones, cheer on those who are in the race, and share the experience with those who haven’t had the chance to take part.

If you have been a part of this event before, or have an interesting story, please share that information below. I am curious to hear of others’ experiences as I am extremely excited for this opportunity!

Thank you and have a great week!

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True Local Kindness in Reno Community

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A strong community is one that is supported by those who are a part of the community. You are the one who chooses to be a part of it, and you can better it in a number of ways. That is exactly what residents of Reno, Nevada are doing. In 2011, a woman named Lynette Eddy felt that the community was missing something—there was an excess of young males transitioning from foster homes to independent living, but struggling to do so, and she felt that the community could offer those young men a smoother path in their transition. By early 2011, Lynette Eddy formed a non-profit organization called The Black Bear Project.

The Black Bear Project is an opportunity for young males, ages 17 ½ to 22, to thrive in their environment successfully. The project provides specialized housing for the young individuals who are too old to live in foster homes and are trying to live independently. Image The Black Bear Project offers these kids a chance to seek out educational goals, while learning to budget and provide for themselves in this new chapter of their lives. Eddy also believes that maintaining a job is an important part of the success of these young boys, as it will teach them about responsibility and how to manage schedules.

Eddy, shortly after the Black Bear Project was initiated, decided to provide a working place specifically for the young males she helps through her housing program. The housing residents work at Z Pie, a new local franchise, that helps the boys experience what the work life is all about, while cooking delicious meat pies and other delicious menu items for the community. All profits from Z Pie go back into the Black Bear Project.

The project has been a great success and the community has been impacted in a positive way, as have been the young boys who have become a part of the program. Like Z Pie, there are other people and local businesses investing their time and services to the local community to ensure that Reno, Nevada has a strong community. I encourage you all to take part in the beauty that is created in this Little Big City. The number of ways to get involved is infinite. Lynette Eddy followed her passion—helping young males achieve success in life. What is your passion?

For more information on the project, Z Pie’s involvement, visit their website: http://www.theblackbearproject.org/

Know someone who could benefit from the program? Encourage them to apply for residence by filling out an application here.

Remember that profits from Z Pie go back into the Black Bear Project. Any of these days that you are feeling like eating at a local business, stop by Z Pie and have yourself a delicious meat pie or even some dessert. Impact your community! And tell your friends about it!

Have a great week everybody!

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Think Globally and Act Locally

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This coming Friday is International Women’s Day. It’s a day dedicated to women all around the world for their progress and achievement.

International Women's Day

Throughout the month of March, a multitude of events take place all around the globe. These events are held to mark the economic, political, and social accomplishments of women.

International Women’s Day has been an observed day dating back to the 1900s and each year, governments, charities, organizations, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day!

This year, I encourage you, readers of both genders, to step out into the world, and take action! Anything you’d like! But “think globally and act locally.”

One of this year’s inspirational events taking place on International Women’s Day is presented by Luna, the maker of the Whole Nutrition Bar for women. The event called The Lunafest Story, strives to connect women, and give them recognition for their stories and their causes through film. This traveling film festival shines the light on the work of a vast number of female filmmakers that provides humor, intellect, and provocative themes.

If you are a Reno local, and are interested in becoming active this International Women’s Day, join The Zonta Club of Greater Reno and UNR’s Women in Science and Engineering (W.I.S.E.) at the University of Nevada, Reno. The two groups will be hosting a Lunafest event  and all proceeds will go towards women of the community—through scholarships, grants, and program support! I strongly encourage you to take advantage of an opportunity like this.

Events like this one are happening NOW, so be active! Find your passion! And do something good!

For more information on Luna and The Lunafest Story visit http://www.lunafest.org/

For the Reno locals, I urge you to check out the website for the event at the University of Nevada, Reno. It is bound to be an experience that will impact you. Below is the link.

http://www.lunafest.org/reno

Have a great week all! Happy International Women’s Day to all the women all around the world!

Make an Impact: Join the Peace Corps

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Are you interested in traveling? Meeting new people? Diving into a life-changing adventure where you’ll have to adapt to a new style of living? Do you enjoy volunteering? Then maybe you should consider joining the Peace Corps. It is a wonderful program that connects U.S. citizens with people from all over the world so that, together, they can create an impact in their community.

As a volunteer of the Peace Corps, you are living, learning and working directly with people of another culture and community. The purpose of the Peace Corps is to promote world peace and friendship—and that is exactly what you will get if you embark on this journey.

Here is a little information about the Peace Corps.

What does a volunteer do?

The work done by a volunteer varies. It solely depends on the necessities of the host country. However, there are an infinite number of volunteer positions available, so volunteering in something you love and enjoy should be easy to find. Most of the positions fall under a general list of categories: Education, Youth & Community Development, Health, Business and Information & Communication Technology, Agriculture, Environment, HIV/Aids, Food Security, Earth Day, Stomp Out Malaria.

Where do volunteers go?

The Peace Corps works in countries from all over the world. For a visual of where specifically the Peace Corps goes, click here.

Requirements?

The only specified requirements for being a Peace Corps volunteer:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age or older
  • Must be a U.S. citizen

Apart from that, training is necessary, but is provided to each volunteer individual, specific to what their work will consist of, and training in language, history, and culture background information on the host country.

The Peace Corps offers a multitude of benefits—not only for the volunteers, but also for the citizens of the host countries. A primary goal of the Peace Corps is to help others gain a “better understanding of Americans and our multicultural society.” (www.peacecorps.gov)

Someday, in my near future, this will be one of my new adventures. I plan on embarking on a volunteer project, as large as those offered by the Peace Corps. It has always been a dream of mine, ever since the first time I learned about the Peace Corps. I strongly encourage you all to look into this amazing program that offers such amazing opportunities!

First, watch the video below to get a better understanding of the Peace Corps.

Second, visit the website at www.peacecorps.gov to find a recruiter near you!

Lastly, share your experiences below in the comment box if you’ve ever done work with the Peace Corps program. I would love some advice and encouragement!

Thank you all! Make a difference this week!