Volunteers find options with JustServe

Fran Fluhler, Manna House Director, at left and Mary Howard, JustServe Director of Public Affairs, fill food packets. CONTRIBUTED
Fran Fluhler, Manna House Director, at left and Mary Howard, JustServe Director of Public Affairs, fill food packets. CONTRIBUTED
MADISON – The power of the Internet has taken a humanitarian twist with JustServe.org, a free nationwide website for volunteers to find service opportunities and for nonprofit organizations to list volunteer needs.
Organizations do not pay a fee to list their needs. “JustServe.org is for people of all faiths — or no faith,” spokesperson Peggy Sue Unander said.
“Although the website is designed and maintained by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is not a religious effort. JustServe.org is simply an effort to link people with opportunities to serve their community,” Unander said.
In early December, JustServe.org listed 28 opportunities in the greater Huntsville/Madison area. Those options ranged from walking dogs and playing with cats at an animal shelter to delivering food to homebound seniors, Unander said.
Linda Howe, a busy Madison mom of six children from kindergarten to college, recently used the JustServe.org website. “I wanted to find some kind of service that ‘fit’ my abilities and resources now that my youngest child started school,” Howe said.
Using JustServe.org, Howe contacted Madison Senior Center about helping with Meals on Wheels. “I was initially listed as a backup driver but quickly became a regular driver,” Howe said. “I deliver meals to 10 people within a 1.5 hour timeframe on the second and fifth Thursday of the month.”
Howe realized her volunteering “is just a drop in the bucket of all the needs out there, but I really like it. It’s wonderful to do something for those that are in such great need,” she said. “I get far more satisfaction from doing something like this than I believed possible, and it is not time-consuming.”
Helping others helps the giver as well as the receiver, Unander said.
Another volunteer opening led a group to Manna House food distribution center in Huntsville. The group stuffed hundreds of small goodie bags with donated snacks for homebound seniors, Manna House founder Fran Fluhler said.
A sister location of Manna House, House of Harvest in Harvest is open on Saturday mornings. To volunteer, “just show up on any given day and help when you can,” Unander said. “Donations of time, money or goods are always appreciated. “
For more information, visit JustServe.org. The app is available at Apple App store or for Android at Google play.

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