Family Resource Center Expands Volunteer Program

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 12/24/2017 12:45:24 AM
Modified: 12/24/2017 12:45:26 AM

Claremont — The TLC Family Resource Center, which promotes health and development initiatives for at-risk families in Sullivan and lower Grafton county, is looking for new volunteers after being selected to participate in a one-year course for nonprofits looking to strengthen their volunteer base.

“There’s only so much that staff can take on and we need volunteers to help support our mission,” TLC’s Executive Director Maggie Monroe-Cassel said in a telephone interview. The High Impact Volunteer Engagement program “will be an excellent opportunity to allow the agency to bring back volunteers to the agency in a wider capacity.”

TLC, which was founded 25 years ago as part of Good Beginnings, was initially a largely volunteer-run organization. However, the families served in the Claremont area needed professional support, and over time more staff was hired while volunteer opportunities diminished.

“We have grown to have a fully trained and professional staff to work with families who have risk factors, including poverty, homelessness and drug issues, all of which often takes (the need for services) to a level beyond which a volunteer would be comfortable,” Monroe-Cassel said.

However, the resource center has been expanding its services and is now looking for volunteers to support the organization. For the most part, volunteers won’t be working directly with children or families, but their work is still essential, Neil Allen, TLC’s AmeriCorps VISTA service member, said by email.

“More volunteers at TLC means that the staff can focus on why they are there — to support and strengthen families,” he said. “Many of the tasks, from organizing donations for the thrift store to data entry to making photocopies of paperwork, take up much of (the staff’s) time and pulls them away from the work they do with clients and the community.”

Having volunteers take that burden will free staff to work more closely with families that are getting services, and to expand offerings within the community, Allen said.

As part of his year of service with AmeriCorps, Allen is working to create a sustainable volunteer program at TLC. He helped the organization apply for the High Impact Volunteer Engagement program, which is run by the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits in conjunction with VQ Volunteer Strategies of Denver, Colo. He said he hopes that by participating in the program, TLC will learn strategies to recruit and maintain a dedicated group of volunteers who can help with events such as the Born to Run 5K and daily tasks around the thrift store and office, freeing staff to provide critical services to area families.

TLC is looking for volunteers who are willing to work in the resource center’s thrift store on Pleasant Street in Claremont (particularly on Fridays and Saturdays), and those who are willing to work in the office (particularly on Mondays and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.). However, Allen said, TLC has a variety of volunteer roles available and the organization is willing to working with an individual’s schedule to find an opportunity that suits, even on a one-time basis.

Those interested in volunteering can contact Allen at 603-542-1848 ext. 311 or neil@tlcfamilyrc.org. More information about volunteering and the options are at tlcfamilyrc.org/volunteer-opportunities.




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