Center for People in Need welcomes volunteers back into their ranks

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 5:19 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Over the last year Lincoln non-profits have been serving more people than ever before, with need rising rapidly throughout the pandemic.

Now, they’re asking you to help be a part of it.

“If you’re someone who wants to help out in the community then this would be a great opportunity for you,” said Amy Morris, with the Center for People in Need.

The call for volunteers is a sign of hope, after the Center had to close to volunteers in March 2020, leaving a big job to just a small number of staff. In a normal year, they’d have more than 3,000 volunteers.

Volunteers will do tasks like packing bags of food, keeping distributions running, helping with traffic and other tasks like teaching clients computer skills.

“We have seen a 91% increase in the number of people seeking food,” said Eileen Chalupa, Center for People in Need. “It’s a huge increase and having staff step in is how we’ve gotten through.”

That meant closing programs like the English language learners and trade programs for the formerly incarcerated and hiring temporary staff to fill in the gaps volunteers would have filled.

“Thank goodness for COVID relief funds that have helped us get through,” said Chalupa.

Bun now that the COVID-19 Risk Dial is in the green and vaccines are in arms, they’re able to send staff back to their regular posts, hoping volunteers will step back in.

“We’ve sorely missed them,” said Morris.

Volunteers will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear masks. Volunteers under 15 will have to bring an adult.

You can apply to volunteer at the Center For People in Need’s website and they will reach out to you as volunteer opportunities arise.

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