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Winter brings options for volunteering

Five volunteers preparing for Inn from the Cold last year. Photo by Justin Medve

Volunteers preparing for Inn from the Cold at Bridge Street United Church last year. File photo by Justin Medve, QNet News. 

By David Mallory [1]

BELLEVILLE – Winter is coming, and the season brings a bunch of organizations that are looking for volunteers for the coming months.

One is Belleville’s Bridge Street United Church for its annual Inn from the Cold [2] program, which provides hot meals for people who need them. Carol Leslie, the office administrator at the church, said the program is “expected to feed a hot meal to more than 100 people each night for its run.” Inn from the Cold starts Jan. 18  and runs until mid-February.

Bridge Street United is looking for volunteers who can help prepare and cook food, wash dishes, clean up after the meals, and greet people at the door.

Bancroft Community Transit [3] is also looking for volunteers. Drivers are needed to take people without their own transportation to appointments, shopping and banking. The service will reimburse drivers for their mileage.

The transit service runs throughout the year, but people need it more in winter because snow and ice make it difficult to get around.

Another organization in need of volunteers is Victim Services [4], an organization that serves the Quinte area as well as Prince Edward and Lennox and Addington counties. It is looking for people to answer the phones and transfer callers to the service that can help them.

However, before people can volunteer their time, they’ll have to go through an interview with Hana Enright, officer manager for Victim Services, and a three-day group training.

Enright says the training will “take people through different scenarios, what to say, what not to say, things to avoid. The crisis response training also focuses on different cultures, so it touches on what’s appropriate and what’s not.”

And then there’s one that’s a staple of the holiday season: the Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle campaign.

The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers in Belleville and Trenton who can stand beside a kettle, ring a bell and greet people when they stop to donate. Volunteers will need to spare a minimum of two hours.

If anyone is interested in volunteering with any of these four services, or any other services, call Volunteer and Information Quinte at (613) 969-8862 and book an appointment with its co-ordinator of volunteer services.