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September 2012 Archives

Blog Moved to WordPress!

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EngageUMN is now up & running!


are all cohesively tied together, as part of the Office for Student Engagement!

A big part of this process has been THIS BLOG! The EngageUMN blog used to be hosted through the UMN Library system, called UThink, which uses a MoveableType system. (If you're interested, visit the UThink website to learn more). But as much as we love the UMN Library, we decided to move the blog to WordPress which provides a really user friendly layout that is pleasing to the eyes and easy to navigate for you and for us!

So far, here is what we have done with the WordPress format:
- Migrated all of the old posts from UThink to WordPress.
- Created an easier way for you as readers to access posts (new and old) and to find the information you are seeking.
- Use WordPress' extensive collection of users to help you connect to people through other WordPress Blogs. This allows you to have, find and discover more information on engagement as a whole, as well as more opportunities to get involved in!

So, go check out the Blog!!! Do you have suggestions about what you would like to see the blog offer? Or how do you feel about this layout, design, etc? Share your idea(s) with us! (

Want to volunteer? Get involved with Community Action by providing your time and your experience to help communities in need. Their volunteers work in areas such as Head Start/Early Head Start, job seeker classes, events and with our advocacy programs that work to end poverty. They are passionate about what they do and hope to match volunteers with work that is meaningful to them. Community Action Partnership invites you or your student group to join their team and serve the participants of Community Action.

Current Opportunities Include:

Administrative Assistant:Administrative Assistant - Opportunity St. Paul.pdfOpportunity St. Paul aims to actively engage the community in solutions that fight poverty. This position will actively support the Opportunity St. Paul Program Coordinator with administrative duties necessary to support the programs objective

Financial Literacy Intern.pdf
The Financial Literacy intern works under the supervision of the Community Engagement department. Assists with training and follow up advising of our financial literacy classes in our Four Cornerstones of Financial Literacy. These classes include four components: Budgeting to Create Savings; Debt Reduction & Asset Building; Building a Good Credit Rating; and Consumer Protection & Financial Institutions.
Head Start Classroom Aide.pdf
A Classroom Aide works with Head Start teachers and staff in the classroom to make learning and attending school a fun and rewarding activity for children ages 3-5.

Lending Library Team Member.pdf
Members help children find and check out books at Head Start Centers, research new children's books for the library and provide the Book Drive Team with a wish list of books for kids. Members also design and send out friendly reminders to follow-up on books that have not been returned and work with Head Start staff to better the library.

Outreach Volunteer.pdf
Outreach volunteers work to engage community members to fill out surveys, help get the word out for community events by flyering or door-knocking, or communicate with potential partners to get them involved via email or phone calls.

Voter Registration Volunteer.pdf
Work with You Be the Change to help low-income community members of Ramsey and Washington counties. The goal of the program is to develop low-income community leaders for the purposes of increasing advocacy and leadership skills. This will ensure that low-income community members play a strong role in decisions being made that affect their quality of life by building a base of grassroots power to address issues related to poverty.
Youth Job Skills Workshop Facilitator.pdf
The purpose of this volunteer position is to help participants learn the valuable, transferrable skills that they will need to succeed in their future careers. Topics will include work place culture, soft skills, and professionalism, time management and other skills needed to maintain employment. We would like volunteers to provide their own insight and experience to prepare these dedicated young people to be ready for work! Help Community Action by volunteering to lead the class in activities and discussions, building curriculum for the class, and sharing your thoughts about how to build career readiness.

For more information about how to get involved with Community Action Partnership, check out their website and Like them on Facebook!

Register for a Skill Based Summit!

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2012 Skills Based Summit
Friday, November 16, 2012 8:00AM-4:30PM
Mall of America 4th Floor Executive Suite

2012 Summit Registration Form.docx

• Ever wonder how a corporation markets its product to its audiences? Or how it utilizes social media to reach new customers?
• Interested in hearing ideas from the corporate perspective along with learning more about nonprofits?
• Looking to expand your knowledge base?

Then join us for the chance to learn valuable skills while networking with professionals in your area!

We will be hosting the Summit to bring together our corporate partners with nonprofits, schools, and faith-based organizations for a day filled with learning new skills and sharing best practices. Through group workshops and one-to-one consultations on a variety of topics, corporate experts will be offering their knowledge and expertise to help nonprofits meet their operational needs. This is an incredible opportunity for not only volunteer managers, but also for all staff and board members, organizational leaders, and volunteers or interns. All are welcome to join us!

General Mills, 3M, Thomson Reuters, and Cummins will be providing workshops on topics ranging from marketing, social media, customer service, technology, finance, legal issues, and more.

Early bird registration is available until October 16th so hurry in, space is limited.

In addition, we are collaborating with GiveMN on their "Give to the Max Day" on Thursday, November 15th. We will be providing speed volunteering activities during GiveMN's event to spread awareness for volunteering alongside the benefit of donating funds to not-for-profits.

Questions, contact Zeeda Magnuson at 612-379-4900 ext 13 or

Weekly Volunteer Opportunities from HandsOn Twin Cities

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Volunteer Opportunities Supporting Children

Help Distribute Groceries at Local Elementary Schools:
Help Second Harvest Heartland with its Meals for Minds Pantry program. One in six Minnesota kids will not get enough to eat today. In partnership with Target, Second Harvest Heartland coordinates monthly grocery distributions through a mobile food pantry in local elementary schools across the metro area. Each child leaves the Meals for Minds Pantry with 30 lbs. of food, enough for 25 meals and a chance at a full future. Great opportunity for individuals, small groups and corporate groups

Like Art? Like Kids? Be an Arts Mentor Today
Free Arts Minnesota offers individual opportunities which place volunteers at one of 30 partnering organizations across the metropolitan area. Serve on a mentor team with 3 to 5 other volunteers and provide one hour per week of creative arts activities to children. Mentors must make a one year commitment. Training and on-going support provided by Free Arts Minnesota.

New Babies, New Stuff:
Be a part of welcoming a new baby into our community with a special Baby Gift Basket! The families of FamilyWise Services are low-to-no income and often do not have the means to buy all the things they need for the precious new little one. They are looking for gift baskets that would include such things as: onesies, books, toys, diapers, bottles, infant bath soap, safety locks/plugs, rattles, etc. Be creative -- design a theme! or just provide the essentials. Your basket is your design -- anything goes!

Computer and Homework Helper:
Do you enjoy teaching and working with children? Volunteer with Aeon in their community and resource rooms located in apartments in Minneapolis for low-income families. Volunteers assist children and adults with computers and homework in the community rooms. Flexible schedule. Minimum commitment is 1 1/2 hour shift a week.

Volunteer Opportunities Supporting Animals

Jungle Boogie Fundraising Event Volunteer:
The Wildcat Sanctuary needs volunteers during their October 7th fundraising event in Minneapolis. Volunteers will be collecting funds and contact information from their table of 8-10 TWS guests. This occurs after the dinner Program and Live Auction, and lasts approximately 15 minutes.

Foster Home Trainer:
Volunteer Foster Homes are needed to help raise and train a service dog for people with physical disabilities. Volunteers will agree to take a puppy at 7-9 weeks old into their home and raise and train it for 2 ½ years with the support of Helping Paws of Minnesota staff located in Hopkins.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

Exercise Leader: Get Fit, Have Fun!

The Volunteers of America of MN's RSVP program seeks volunteers aged 55 or better interested in being trained to deliver the Bone Builders exercise program. Volunteers lead one hour, twice weekly classes. Training, ongoing support, mileage reimbursement, and other benefits are available. Classes offered in various locations around the Twin Cities.

Adult ESL Tutor:
Minnesota Literacy Council needs volunteers to tutor adult immigrants or refugees learning English. Meet people from around the world while helping them build literacy skills to thrive in the United States. Need enthusiastic individuals who want to tutor English in a classroom or in a one-to-one setting. No previous experience is necessary; training is provided. The only language requirement is the ability to read, write and speak English. Flexible morning, afternoon and evening opportunities are available throughout the metro. The time commitment ranges from one to three hours per week.

Administrative Volunteer:
Help out the Walk-In Counseling Center in Minneapolis with various administrative tasks in their office. Tasks include: mailings, copying, filing, creating packets, data entry, answering phones and more. Flexible scheduling, typically shifts of one to three hours.

Shopping Volunteer
Hammer Residences seeks volunteers to take residents shopping. May need to be able to push a wheelchair around a mall. Also, opportunities for volunteers able to assist with transfer from wheelchair into a car. Flexible scheduling.

For more information, check out their website, or contact HandsOn Twin Cities at 612-379-4900

Want to create an inclusive campus?

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The U of M is committed to creating a culture where all members of the university community can make equity and diversity a core value of their work and learning. Join the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED) in creating a welcoming and inclusive campus by getting involved this fall. You can:

-Earn an Equity & Diversity Certificate (workshops 1-10 are now open)
-Participate in the Critical Conversations about Diversity and Justice series
-Attend Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action workshops
-Save the date for the 5th annual Equity & Diversity Breakfast

The Equity and Diversity Certificate helps participants develop tools necessary for advancing equity and diversity in all aspects of their personal and professional lives. It's free of charge and open to all members of the University of Minnesota community on all campuses. More than 400 people have participated in these workshops during the past six months--be sure to sign up early as the sessions fill quickly!

The new Critical Conversations about Diversity and Justice series starts on September 28 and runs through April 2013. Every conversation in the series will take place on a Friday, from 1:30-3 p.m., and will feature knowledgeable panelists from both the University and the broader community. Conversation topics range from the marriage amendment and invisible disabilities to race issues and immigration. Created in response to a high demand for a space to discuss critical issues, these conversations are sure to provide both insight and an opportunity for dialogue.

OED's Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action offers workshops that focus on a wide range of equity and diversity issues in higher education. They can also be customized for individual unit needs and concerns. Workshops start in September--as space is limited, early registration is recommended.

Finally, save the date for the fifth annual Equity & Diversity Breakfast! Join us on Wednesday, November 14, from 8:30-9:45 a.m. Breakfast registration opens in mid-September.

Equity and diversity are critical to issues of campus culture and climate and fundamental to everything we do at the University of Minnesota. You can help to leverage equity and diversity to achieve excellence in teaching, research and community engagement. Best wishes for a successful beginning of the school year.

Want more information? Learn more on the Office for Equity and Diversity website.

Weekly Volunteer Opportunities from HandsOn Twin Cities

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Volunteer Opportunities Supporting Youth

Creative Snack for Kids Volunteer:

Recruit a team of up to 6 people to purchase, prepare on site and serve a snack at the Crisis Nursery in Golden Valley. A way for teens to get involved in volunteering with your family or group by creating a snack for approximately 25-30 children, staff, and volunteers. Can be a one time or ongoing event. Available daily 365 days per year. Youth 12 or older must be accompanied by an adult.

Help an elementary student read or do math:
Volunteer with Patchwork Quilt in Minneapolis and help elementary-aged children (individually or in small groups) to improve reading or math skills. Choose to help with either reading or math, can volunteer as seldom as once a month. Hours for tutoring are 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. weekdays.

Child Advocate:

Safe Passage for Children in St Paul trains volunteers to advocate for children in the child protection and foster care system. Volunteers can participate at several levels: email campaigns for funding and services, attend meetings with County and State officials, and attend hearings, help with administrative tasks, or help and maintain their social media.

Gift Card Drive Coordinator:
Volunteers are needed to coordinate gift card drives to collect gift cards to help the budget for West Suburban Teen Clinic in Hopkins. This is a fun project for groups. Can be done around the holidays or any time of the year at your place of work, school, or church by getting people to donate a $5, $10 or $20 gift card from a provided list.

Dakota City One Room Schoolteacher:

Dakota City Historic Village is a living history museum of 1900-era buildings in Farmington. They are looking for adults to dress in period costume and play a Schoolteacher to elementary-aged children on a school field trip. Lead the class in 1900-era school lessons and recess for about 2 hours. Tours during the school day in spring and fall.

One Time/Short Term Volunteer Opportunities

Roll up your sleeves and fight hunger with friends, family and coworkers on Saturday, September 15, 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM in St Paul! Join Second Harvest Heartland as teams compete in two-hour shifts to see who can pack the most for their new Second Harvest Heartland West facility. Cost is $25 per person with a suggested $100 fundraising goal. Kids ages eight and older are welcome.

Supper Servers:
Join others to prepare and serve a meal to 40 shelter guests at Our Saviour's Housing in Minneapolis. Help make Our Saviour's a stable home by providing comforting meals. Help prepare, serve, and clean up. Sign up on your own or with a friend or family member. A Project Coordinator will plan and lead the meal but volunteers are asked to bring some ingredients if they are able.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

Give a much-needed break to a family caregiver:

Volunteer with DARTS to assist a family caregiver living in Dakota County area, who is caring for a frail loved one at home. Providing such care can be demanding and stressful when there is little relief. You'd provide socialization and a safe environment while the caregiver is away. No hands-on care would be involved. 2-4 times a month for 4 hour shift.

Come As You Are:

Neighbors, Inc's Come As You program in South St Paul provides adults with special needs and developmental disabilities with an opportunity to have fun. Activities include music, games, dancing, and an annual talent show, holiday party, and picnic. Shifts include 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month from September through June.

Choir Director/Worship Leader:
Work with teens to do worship with chapel on Sundays at Presbyterian Homes & Services: Lake Minnetonka Shores in Spring Lake Park. Volunteer should have some music experience. 1-1.5 hours per week. Training and orientation are provided. Singing or playing piano for chapel (Wednesdays or Sundays without other singers.)

For more information, contact HandsOn Twin Cities at 612-379-4900 or check out their website!

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2012 is the previous archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.