Find Volunteer Opportunities through United Way of Allen County’s New Volunteer Hub
Jul03

Find Volunteer Opportunities through United Way of Allen County’s New Volunteer Hub

Our community is full of wonderful people. It’s also full of wonderful organizations and great opportunities. If you find yourself looking for ways to become more involved in our beautiful city, United Way of Allen County’s volunteer portal just might be the answer you’re searching for. From financial support of local nonprofits, to advocating on behalf of things like early childhood education and connecting individuals to resources through 2-1-1, United Way of Allen County supports and advances our community in a variety of ways. It made sense, then, that they’d be the type of organization that would see a need, then step up and see what they can do to meet that need. The United Way of Allen County volunteer portal is an online hub for individuals to find volunteer opportunities in our community. Individuals can create an account and scroll through a list of needs to find a volunteer opportunity that’s a perfect fit. Individuals can filter their search by availability, interests, skill-sets and more. The search brings up all the necessary information about the organization and the volunteer position, often linking directly to a webpage where the potential volunteer can apply, or at least providing the contact information for the individual at the organization responsible for volunteers. “It makes finding a volunteer opportunity so much easier, because not only can you search for the specific opportunities you’d be interested in, but you can also contact the agency directly,” says Tiffani Arnold, Manager of Strategic Volunteer Engagement at United Way of Allen County. She’s right. I decided to test the site and see what opportunities were available to me. After creating an account, it asked me to list some of my interests, talents, and choose some example organizations that I liked. I then searched for volunteer opportunities in Marketing, since that’s my strongest skill, and bam! I was paired with a Marketing and Communications need at Early Childhood Alliance. All I had to do was fill out a form with a quick note and my availability, and wait for them to contact me. Perfection. Anyone can create an account and use the hub to find volunteer positions, and it’s 100% free for both the individual using it and the organization advertising on it. That’s huge for nonprofits where extra money for advertising isn’t always available. We love the hub, and we love that we have organizations in our community that are committed bringing us all...

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LFW Weekend Fun File
Apr07

LFW Weekend Fun File

Here’s a quick peek at some of the things we are looking forward to this weekend! If you’d like to see your event featured in the Weekend Fun File, or added to our events calendar, let us know! Email us at info@livingfortwayne.com   1. “Under the Bridge: The Criminalization of Homelessness” Thursday, April 7 at 6 pm                 Free event cohosted by IPFW Anthropology Club, IPFW Voices of Choice, and IPFW Campus Feminists in Solidarity, and Triota, the documentary will be shown at the Cinema Center, followed by a discussion with a panel of experts. 2. Empowered to Connect Conference Friday and Saturday April 8 and 9 from 10 am to 6 pm             Northeast Christian Church is hosting this live simulcast for parents, youth workers, foster parents and teachers. Anyone who has children or works closely with children will benefit from this awesome conference designed to help you better connect with your kids. DCS has approved the April 8th training for 2.25 hours of foster care training credit and 9th for 4.5 hrs. 3. Spring Party Friday, April 8 from 6 – 9 pm         Art, music, food, and a celebration of Spring! Sounds like a wonderful night to me! 4. Annie Friday, April 8 at 7:30 pm         Everyone’s favorite spunky orphan girl is coming to Fort Wayne! Broadway at the Embassy is featuring the musical “Annie” this Friday night. I. Can’t. Wait. 5. YLNI Farmer’s Market Saturday, April 9 from 9 am to 1 pm         It’s the last month for winter farmer’s markets! Head over to Wunderkammer to get your fill of local goods! 6. Creative Cocktails Saturday, April 9 at 5:30 pm         Head over to JK O’Donnell’s beginning at 5:30 for some drinks, followed by the Three Rivers Music Theatre presents: The Last Five Years. I’m excited about this one, it’s a little less expensive than some of the others. If you’ve been wanting to check it out, now is your chance! 7. OverBoost Car Show Saturday, April 9 from 12 – 6 pm Sweetwater is going to have some cool cars and food trucks to enjoy on your Saturday afternoon! 8. Shindigz National Soccer Festival Saturday, April 9 at 7 pm               Confession: My boyfriend likes (lives, breathes, is obsessed with …) soccer. That’s why I know about this. And I pretended that I had no interest in going, but Indiana is playing Notre Dame at the University of Saint Francis field and that sounds pretty fun, actually. The website says there’s...

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LFW Weekend Fun File
Mar31

LFW Weekend Fun File

1. Euchre Tournament! Thursday, March 31 at 8 pm There’s a Euchre tournament at Pedal City on Thursday with great prizes! Should be super fun, Euchre is basically a competitive sport if you’re from Indiana. Kinda like Corn-hole. 2. The Last Five Years April 1-10 Friday and Saturday at 8pm Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm I heard this was a great show! You can read more of the details about the production in our LFW preview article. I’ll definitely be going to see this show, and you should too! 3. Flamingo Nosebleed, the Snarks, AM Nice, Bi at Bob Vila’s This Old House Friday, April 1 at 7 pm Have you ever been to Bob Vila’s This Old House? If you have not … you should! Everyone is welcome to these house shows, and it’s a great time in a great place! 4. All In Block Party April 1-3, times and locations vary “Progress” through the city visiting the different branches of Allen County Public Library and complete the challenges set before you! 5. Soiree’s Can Opener Saturday, April 2 at 4 pm 10 local, relatively new bands will be playing at the Philmore on Broadway. Come out and support local talent! Also, Bravas will be there and CS3 is providing drinks. Yay! 6. Easter Bone Hunt Saturday, April 2 at 12 pm So much cuteness happening here. I cannot wait to take my dog to this. Last year, I hid easter eggs for my daughter and when I woke up, the dog had found/eaten all of them. So. He will be happy to have an event all his own. I am sure of it. 7. Skunk Cabbage — It’s More Than Just a Smelly Plant Sunday, March 3 at 1 pm Skunk Cabbage is weird. Pack up the kiddos and take them to Fox Island to spend some time in the great outdoors and maybe learn some stuff too! 8. Monthly Gallery Cleanup Sunday, April 3 at 3 pm Wunderkammer is great. We love Wunderkammer. Let’s help Wunderkammer stay fresh. 9. Taiko Drumming Workshop Tuesday, April 5 at 10 am I don’t actually know anything about Taiko Drumming, but this looks super cool. I can’t keep a beat to save my life, but if you can and you know something about drumming, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn from a taiko master. 10. StoryBook’s “Dr. Seuss on the loose!” Wednesday, April 6 at 9:30 am Fort Wayne Youtheatre’s StoryBook Theatre is presenting “Dr. Seuss on the Loose” at the Allen County Public Library! It’s free and the kids will love...

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Alternative Spring Break: Urban Plunge
Mar07

Alternative Spring Break: Urban Plunge

This week, a group of local college students are giving up their “sleep all day, Netflix all night” spring breaks and are instead participating in United Way of Allen County’s Alternative Spring Break: Urban Plunge. The program gives students a chance to step out of their comfort zone and see the needs in our community first-hand. This year’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) focuses on A.L.I.C.E. (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) families, those who are working but still can’t make ends meet on the wages they are making. Our community is wonderful, and Fort Wayne is growing and changing rapidly, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t fellow community members who need help, and ASB is giving students the chance to get involved. The program is four days long and will focus on the southeast side of Fort Wayne. Participants will learn about the specific needs of our community and the needs of A.L.I.C.E. families, as well as have the opportunity to volunteer and take tours of local nonprofit agencies. It’s a great opportunity for everyone involved. Participants will be able to not only learn and network, but are also given the chance to really consider what role they play in invoking change, as Millennial community members. The nonprofits involved are able to raise awareness of the issues they have devoted themselves to changing, and the struggles of the individuals using these services are brought a little further into the light. Fort Wayne is a great place, full of great people. It’s exciting that we have organizations willing to invest in others, and to invest in the young people of the area. It’s also exciting, quite frankly, that we have young people in the area who were willing to give up a week of freedom to do something to strengthen our community and the families living in it. Our heart and passion is to see Fort Wayne blossom, to see business and art and culture grow, and to see people love and appreciate our city enough to live, work, and play here. Part of that growth is going to come from strengthening the families already living in this great city, and ASB is a step in the right direction. You can stay up to date with this year’s ASB through our social media! We will be adding pictures and stories from the group as the week goes...

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The Crossing, Redeeming Struggling Students
Nov23

The Crossing, Redeeming Struggling Students

written for Living Fort Wayne by Hillary Knipstein of The Crossing For some struggling local high school students, a traditional high school career is not a viable option.  These students struggle with behavioral issues and school discipline, addiction, poor attendance, teen pregnancy, challenging family situations, mental illness, bullying, or other challenges.  Enter, The Crossing. The Crossing is a nonprofit organization operating alternative high schools throughout Indiana.  Our mission is to empower struggling students to become contributing members of their communities through academics, job-training, and faith-based character education. Fulfilling this mission requires, first and foremost, staff and volunteers who feel called to form consistent and positive relationships with struggling students.  These authentic relationships are essential to providing meaningful and effective encouragement and discipline to our students.  We create an inclusive family environment where students feel a genuine sense of belonging, meet them where they are, speak openly with them about Christ, empower them to set goals and make consistent daily choices that align with those goals, and hold them accountable for their behavior.  Every day, our students meet for a thirty-minute “family time,” which involves a group discussion or devotion aimed at developing character and helping our students bond as a group. Although they are extremely diverse, our students laugh, cry, and pray together daily. Our students work at their own pace through the courses required to obtain an accredited high school diploma, with additional academic support as required.  Beyond a high school diploma, we strive to prepare our students for post-secondary employment, education or entrepreneurship through our unique job training program, which allows them to gain valuable skills and experience by participating in our student-run microbusinesses, participating as part of a work team, or completing an internship. Supporting these struggling students requires contribution from both individuals and businesses in the Fort Wayne community. Volunteer opportunities at the Crossing can coincide with any skill set and availability. You can volunteer as either a life mentor or a spiritual mentor for one of our students, help to maintain one of our campuses, or serve on our Community Action Team or one of its committees. We welcome Fort Wayne area businesses to participate in our JTP by hosting an intern or a work team.  To learn more about the Crossing’s mission, learn about volunteer opportunities, and to hear our students’ stories, please attend our annual banquet on December 3, 2015 at the Imperial Room in Fort Wayne Indiana (tickets available here), or visit our...

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