PARKERSBURG - The Volunteer Action Center of the Mid-Ohio Valley, a United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley member agency, matches individuals with volunteer opportunities in the community.
"I think in today's society, a lot of people do want to give of their time," said Teresa Roberts, office finance manager and safety coordinator.
Founded in 1995 at the Dils Center on Market Street in downtown Parkersburg, the center mobilizes volunteers for a variety of agencies.
Jean Phillips, with FaithLink at the Volunteer Action Center, works in January to assist volunteers in assembling 600 Blizzard Boxes for homebound seniors.
Programs include Faithlink, a Faith-in-Action Program which provides volunteers to help the elderly, chronically ill or physically disabled remain independent at home. The volunteers provide a variety of non-medical services, such as transportation, home visits, help with housekeeping chores and yardwork, shopping and reassurance calls. The FaithLink program volunteers are currently helping more than 350 individuals live independently.
The Child Care Food Program has been associated with the center for more than three years. Funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered in West Virginia by the state Department of Education, the program reimburses day care providers for nutritious, balanced meals and snacks for eligible children. About 100 homes and 750 children in the 10-county area are receiving reimbursement.
Volunteers are connected with service opportunities with the help of Volunteer WV. Individuals fill out applications listing their skills, interests and abilities, and are sent a list of several possible organizations.
Using the Wood County 211 Information and Referral System, another program of the center, individuals can easily access information on many health and human services including food, utility payments, rent, transportation, child care, medical care, clothing and other needs.
To better determine the needs of the community, the center is working on a survey which will find out where more volunteers are needed locally.
"We want to find out where the gaps in the community are, and how we can fill them," Roberts said.
The center sublets offices to nonprofit organizations and other agencies helping them save money by sharing overhead expenses. Roberts said the center has several offices available to rent.
For more information, to make a donation or to volunteer, contact the center at 521 Market St., on the second floor, call 304-424-3457 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.