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This month AFG has been buzzing with several volunteer groups donating their time to projects around the agency. Sixty volunteers from five different groups worked on projects such as painting, organizing the clothing closet, and renovating the Arts & Crafts room. Melody Moore, Volunteer Services Manager, caught us up on everything that’s been going in the Volunteer Department in the month of June.
On June 5th, a group from the Ford Motor Company Volunteer Corps kicked off the month. “We applied for a Ford mini-grant for a volunteer project and it was approved in April. Part of that grant included a group of volunteers who would come and do some community service at AFG,” Melody explains. Throughout the day, nine Volunteer Corps members helped install four new raised beds in our garden and painted the child care room. “These volunteer projects are important because they give the community a chance to be involved and invested in AFG while at the same time brightening up the encounters the young women we serve have while at AFG,” Melody shares.
This positive impact continued on June 17th when 40 UAW Ford International Benefit Representatives volunteered during a daylong community service project. “UAW Ford Vice President, Jimmy Settles, believes that you should participate in the community because as you advance, you should bring others up with you,” Joe Guccairdo, UAW Ford International Benefit Representative, explains. Because the International Benefit Reps were all in town, the group decided it would be a great time to get together and give back to the community. Once they decided on doing community service, they then started searching for an organization.
Joe and his fellow International Benefit Reps first heard about AFG during a UAW Ford meeting where each department talks about what projects (community service and work related) they are working on. “Vaughan Tolliver, one of our co-workers, did a presentation about the benefit they are hosting for AFG on June 28th, and that was it. We found what we wanted to do,” Joe shares. “There was such a need and AFG doesn’t have the attitude of ‘Let’s fix everything in one day,’ but rather putting girls and young women on the right path,” Joe continues.
Throughout their day at AFG, the Reps helped organize the clothing closet, put together hygiene kits, decorated the child care room, landscaped, cleaned up the lots surrounding AFG, and much more. “The impact that these volunteer projects will have on AFG will be lasting because they produce an environment change which creates a more conducive developing climate for our participants,” Melody shares. This impact was evident after the Reps finished their projects and left for the day. Not only did AFG look different, but staff and participants alike commended the volunteers for all that they were able to accomplish in just one day.
The next three volunteer groups, all different Girl Scout Troops, will be renovating the library by painting and reorganizing it with new book shelves, the Arts & Crafts room with new shelving and donated art supplies, and the shelter visitor room. Once these projects are complete, there will still be more work to be done around AFG for future volunteer groups. “We need help with community clean-ups, we have some scheduled in August, where we will be focusing on areas around our building. So we will need volunteers who have lawn mowers or riding lawn mowers that can come out and help,” Melody explains. “In addition to this, we really need individuals who want to help with our family literacy project where we are working to improve reading among families.” For more information on volunteer opportunities, please contact Melody Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or (313) 361-4000 x 280.