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People in Southeast Missouri help others during volunteer week

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Amanda Siebert gets her jollies volunteering.

"Service just makes me feel so alive," she said in an e-mail. "It's such an exhilirating feeling, and I would recommend it for any and everyone."

Siebert is a diatetics major at Southeast Missouri State University who will participate in the Empty Bowls project during National Volunteer Week, April 19 to 25.

Volunteer opportunities during National Volunteer week can be found on the front page of the Southeast Missourian Good Times section in the Good Deeds box or on the Retired Senior Volunteer Program/Volunteer Intergenerational Center website at www.1-800-volunteer.org (click on National Volunteer Week logo).

RSVP/VIC, services of the Southeast Missouri Area Agency on Aging, recruits volunteers of all ages to help expand services in not-for-profit agencies struggling with today's social issues and problems. Volunteers and resources are matched to work effectively and efficiently for positive change in the area.

Siebert is the service chair for Gamma Sigma Sigma and has been volunteering regularly with the sorority for three years. Siebert said the sorority has something going most days of the week. Gamma Sigma Sigma will be participating in four events during National Volunteer Week.

The Empty Bowls project appealed to Siebert because she likes helping people in need of food. The ceramic bowls are made and fired, then painted during National Volunteer Week. In November, meals are held at the Salvation Army and on the Southeast Missouri State University campus, with proceeds benefiting local food pantries.

"It's more personal because it's linked to my major," Siebert said. "At the event I'll work the meal, making soups. It's a full meal with soup, bread and dessert ... and you get to keep the bowl."

RSVP/VIC will hold a recognition dinner for its volunteers, themed "'50s Rockin' Volunteer Bash." Tina Dohogne RSVP/VIC executive director will have her poodle skirt on and encourages the almost 1,000 invited guests to dress up, Dohogne said she chose the 50s theme to make it a fun event.

April Berry, a Southeast nursing major, also volunteers regularly, according to Dohogne.

"People already have so much free time that they don't know what to do with. Why not do something fun or impactful during some of that time?" Berry said in an e-mail. She said she scans the volunteer opportunity list distributed by the Southeast Student Nurses Association to get involved.

"Some of the activities actually looked pretty fun," Berry said. "I'm not really involved with any committees or clubs at SEMO and every time a chance comes up to do something impactful I try to look into it."

Berry chose to donate time during National Volunteer Week caring for children at the Cape Area Familiy Resource Center Tiny Toes program and cleaning up the Cape LaCroix Stream.

"I suppose I like working with kids and being in the outdoors. And I guess a little variety is nice when it comes to volunteering," Berry said.

cpagano@semissourian.com

388-3648

pertinent address:

RSVP/VIC offices:

105 N. Main

Chaffee, MO, 63740

1219 N. Kingshighway, Suite 100 (within theSoutheast Missouri Area Agency on Aging office)

Cape Girardeau, MO? 63701


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