Posts Tagged ‘Helping Hands of Vegas Valley’

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Lessons on Giving

December 6, 2011

The holiday season is such a busy time for all.  Once the shopping has been done, the gifts are wrapped, and the cards have been mailed, take a moment and spend some quality time with your family by making the holiday season a little brighter for others.  Try some of these ideas and instill a lifetime love of service in your children:

  • Host a volunteering play-date over winter break. Instead of an outing to a park, host a community-focused activity such as making cards to deliver to nursing homes or sending care packages to soldiers.
  • Deliver a meal to a family in need; Helping Hands of Vegas Valley needs drivers to distribute food to seniors.
  • Start your own food, clothing, or toy drive. Collect items from your friends, family, co-workers, church groups, etc. and distribute to a charitable organization.
  • Invite an elderly neighbor to join your holiday celebration, or offer to sit and chat with them a while.
  • Gather a group and sing holiday carols to shut-ins or in shelters.
  • Choose a family to sponsor from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program and bring the kids shopping to choose gifts for the family you will be helping. As you wrap the presents, talk about all the things your family is thankful for.
  • Purchase $5 or $10 gift cards from a grocery store or fast food restaurant and deliver them to the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth’s plastic food drive.
  • Decorate three jars: one for saving, one for spending, and one for giving. Ask your children to deposit their spare change equally among the jars over the next year. Ask them to choose an organization to donate their giving jar to.
  • Visit a charity that you have supported so that your children see where the money goes. Take a tour and bring the whole family.
  • Show how your efforts are making a difference. Create a scrapbook of your family’s volunteer and philanthropic experiences.
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Featured Partner Organization – Helping Hands of Vegas Valley

September 14, 2011

Stephanie Lowrey, Volunteer Coordinator Helping Hands of Vegas Valley

As I settle into my role as the Volunteer Coordinator at Helping Hands of Vegas Valley, I am more enthusiastic than ever. My volunteers always give me such joy. I used to think that I was allowed to witness the growth of my volunteers but really they are the ones that inspire me to grow. There is an ugly truth that Nevada has one of the lowest volunteerism rates in the nation. I try to turn this into a positive statistic, as a way to challenge people to commit to a cause. HHOVV’s purpose is humbling; imagine working your entire life only to find yourself struggling in your retirement in need of food, companionship or transportation. Our volunteers whole-heartedly believe in bettering the life of a homebound senior. As we build our program, I feel lucky to be a part of an organization that is truly innovative. The Executive Director and staff are working hard to bring about progressive change and new diversification to HHOVV. It is exciting to be a part of this organization with its energy and growth. Every day, this agency has given me a sense of empowerment to challenge myself. I get to find creative ways to recruit, retain, and manage our volunteers. We have a great community here in Las Vegas, with the help of organizations such as Hands on Nevada, I get to witness the heart of it!

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Serving Our Seniors

July 18, 2011

According to recent US Census Bureau data, just over a quarter million Las Vegans are age 60 and above.  State officials have also hypothesized that this area of our population will continue to substantially grow over the next ten years as seniors make the move to the region.  This makes sense for a state with relaxed personal tax laws for a population that is living on limited income.  However, sometimes this isn’t enough.  Sometimes the fixed income is stretched to maintain basic survival as costs of necessities such as food, transportation, and healthcare fluctuates.  This is where the Helping Hands of Vegas Valley steps in.

In its eleven year existence, the organization has dedicated itself to caring for the growing senior population.  Services offered include wheelchair transportation, volunteer transportation, respite care vouchers, and a food pantry.  This past Saturday, a few friends, along my son and I, were granted an opportunity to assist the Helping Hands of Vegas Valley with their food delivery effort, dubbed Pantry Pals.

We arrived at the organization by 8:00 AM.  After a quick word from the director, we made our way through the check-in to obtain our list of clients and bags of food we would be delivering.  My son and I received nine bags of groceries and two small bags of pet food; one for a cat and one for a dog.  We got to our car and started ruffling through our client list to determine the best possible route to get the items delivered efficiently.  Lucky for us, our six clients were in the same senior living complex.  My friend, on the other hand, had four different addresses, but none were too far from the rest.

We arrived at the senior living complex by 8:45 AM.  Every delivery receipt was complete with special instructions as well, which made the process flow much smoother than it otherwise could have.  Our first delivery was to a couple who had been married a lengthy number of years.  After some small talk while my son helped place the groceries on their counter, they signed the receipt and we made our way to the car to retrieve the next delivery.  The rest of the deliveries were similar with the only differences being the activities the clients were engaged in as we arrived.  Some were watching television, others playing cards with friends.

When it was all said and done, the opportunity took us a total of an hour and a half.  However, the resulting effects of the opportunity will extend far beyond this time, for both the clients and the volunteers.  And, as the population continues to increase, I can only imagine opportunities as great as this one will become more frequent.

~Jason

If you’d like to volunteer at Helping Hands of Las Vegas Valley visit the  HHOLV Profile on the HandsOn Nevada Website. If the time/dates don’t work for you there are many other opportunities that need volunteers.  Visit the HandsOn Nevada Website at www.VolunteerCenterSN.org to find the right opportunity for you today!