Diverse volunteering opportunities available

To the editor,

While I was disappointed after reading the May 3 Philanthropy Journal article, “Volunteer opportunities inadequate,” I also felt it important to let your readers know there are organizations that offer diverse volunteering opportunities, like Christian Appalachian Project.

We pride ourselves in our volunteer program, which sees nearly 900 volunteers annually.

Because of the myriad people we see, our volunteer program is a welcoming, accommodating and satisfying one.

Volunteers range in age from young adults to people in their 80s; however, we are noticing a rise in participation from the Baby Boomer generation.

Volunteers are allowed to choose from any of the more than 30 programs we offer, and all the programs are facilitated by staff members, providing a family-like atmosphere.

Being an ecumenical organization, volunteers come from all over the world and are of various backgrounds, ages and faiths.

Time commitments are very flexible, ranging from one week to a year or more, and because the admissions process is year-round, volunteers are able to volunteer when it is convenient for them.

We strive to provide a strong sense of community and allow volunteers to share their faith in the way that works for them.

Our living accommodations are sensitive to individual needs; volunteers may stay in one of the many volunteer houses, which lodge five to 15 people, or they can live independently with a monthly stipend.

With locations throughout eastern Kentucky, volunteers are able to steep themselves in the Appalachian culture and be surrounded by the natural beauty of the region.

No prior volunteer experience is necessary, and we provide orientation and training sessions.

Being able to work directly with program participants or taking a more administrative role permits volunteers to use their greatest talents and better impact those we serve.

Our ministry is based on the scripture, Matthew 25:35-40. “…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

It is in this spirit of service that we provide opportunities for those in need and for those who need to serve.

Bill Mills, president, Christian Appalachian Project, Lancaster, Ky.

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