Welcome to "Lake County Volunteer Corner!" Each month, we will be showcasing the wonderful work that volunteers do for our Lake County communities, as well as listing some upcoming needs and opportunities for volunteers.

Arrowhead RSVP-AEOA works with over 30 nonprofit organizations in Lake County to make sure community needs are met. Volunteers play a vital role in providing affordable food to our neighbors; taking care of senior, veteran and disabled needs; teaching children to read; providing free tax-aide and exercise classes; making beautiful quilts; organizing community festivals; sharing heritage; keeping our hiking trails and nature areas available; as well as many more programs.

During the last 12 months alone, over 400 Lake County volunteers who are registered with RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) and Northland Volunteer Center put in over 24,400 hours of volunteer time. If our communities would have had to pay for these services, the estimated cost to organizations would have been $594,513.

One of the wonderful things about volunteering is being able to share your abilities, interests and time with amazing people. Studies have shown that volunteering leads to improvement in mental and physical health, social connection and sense of purpose.

An example of this can be found when visiting the Two Harbors Area Food Shelf. The food shelf employs only 1.5 employees, and yet, in 2018, provided food to 897 individuals, and distributed over 102,000 pounds of food. This service would not be available, without the help of 120 volunteers putting in 3,800 hours of volunteer time.

When you walk in the door on food shelf days, volunteers greet people with smiles, assistance and wonderful organization. And yet, even with this many volunteers involved, the need continues to grow and additional help is needed.

Please consider joining our wonderful community in helping others. Some current needs include:

  • The Two Harbors Area Food Shelf is looking for help with its front desk Tuesdays. This shift is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 12:30-4 p.m., but is flexible. These duties include setting up the front desk, snack table, checking in clients and filling out paperwork. Our check-in process is done through a computer system, and training is provided, but it's a pretty easy system. Also, assistance is needed for the monthly truck day. Please contact Jamie with any questions at 218-226-8147 or jlharthan6@gmail.com.
  • This fall, the Reading Pals program at Minnehaha Elementary will be expanding to include reading assistance during the school day. Volunteers are needed for one or two days per week, from 9-10:30 a.m. Reading assistance will be for students kindergarten through second grade. Contact Nancy Frischmann at 218-226-8809 or nancy.frischmann@aeoa.org.
  • AEOA/RSVP is looking for help to provide bi-monthly exercise class for the consumers of Lake County DAC. Training is provided. Contact Nancy Frischmann at 218-226-8809 or nancy.frischmann@aeoa.org.
  • Community Partners could use some help on the Fourth of July with its 2nd Annual Pulled Pork and Pie. We are looking for people who are interested in helping with our annual fundraiser at the Community Center. Setup will be from 9-11 a.m. Then there are shifts from 2-5 p.m., 4:30-8 p.m. and 7:30-10 p.m. These shifts will be serving food and pie, a behind-the-scenes kitchen crew, roamers that clean up tables and talk to people, raffle ticket sellers, selling pop outside and clean-up. If you are interested in helping with this event, please call our office and we will get you more information. Thanks! Call or contact Dana at 218-834-8024 ext. 204 or email her at commpart.vc@gmail.com.