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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Volunteer opportunities in the New Year

MLK's day of service have passed, but since then, I've come across a couple of very interesting opportunities to help Detroit that I thought I would share.
For the first opportunity, The United Way for Southeast Michigan is looking for about thirty volunteers to help evaluate different schools in Detroit (part of the Excellent Schools Detroit project). There is a 16-hour commitment over 4-days, but the volunteers get a lot out of this as well. It is a great learning experience, to figure out what to look for in evaluating schools. Also, unlike most volunteer project, there is a modest monetary stipend involved in this opportunity! Here is a link to register: https://volunteer.truist.com/uwsem/user/events/one.tcl?event_id=10504549070&utime=1326340932163498
The second opportunity, Detroit 4 Detroit, has received a bit more fanfare (I read about it in the Free Press: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120126/NEWS01/120126062/New-Detroit-initiative-offers-fundraising-help-budding-philanthropists). It just seems to be a mass effort at grassroots, citizen fundraising, which while not a new concept, could have a sizeable effect given the coordination and targeted nature of this effort. They are looking for 150 philanthropists to raise ~$2000-3000 each for a handful of high impact projects. I like it - check it out at http://www.detroit4detroit.org/
Unfortunately, I will be out of town for much of the next few months, but I hope I will still be able to participate in at least one of these great initiatives, so I've signed up for both. If something happens, I will certainly share my experiences.