We had a nice turnout of 20 members at our Monday meeting along with our speaker, Nancy Zompolas from the Volunteer Center of Fond du Lac County and Craig Larson, guest of Gary Ring. Gary Ring made a donation presentation from the Spiritual Aims Committee to a needy family to help with the purchase of a used minivan. The presentation was made to Craig Larson who spearheaded the fund raising efforts through social media to help this needy family. Gary Ring also reminded Club members that Spiritual Aims is also collecting books for “Raffle Basket” for an upcoming Grief Relief fund raiser. “Happy Bucks” were offered by Gary Ring in celebration of his and Lois’ 40th wedding anniversary over the weekend, Del Waldschmidt to promote our upcoming NFDL PDQ Brat Fry on April 11th, Harry Schneider for a lucky weekend at the Knights of Columbus Bowling Tournament, Jan Krug for being back from a wonderful vacation in Mexico and Glen Treml for a new grandbaby on the way. Jackie King was the 50/50 Raffle winner on Monday and she drew the King of Spades, a non-winner. Next week’s drawing will have 46 cards, including eight pay cards, and a pot of at least $74.
Nancy Zompolas, Volunteer Center
Nancy Zompolas joined us on Monday morning to update us on what’s happening at the Volunteer Center. Nancy has been the Executive Director at the Volunteer Center for the past three years and has facilitated a number of growth areas at the Center. They currently have a branch office in donated space at the Ripon School District to help extend this valuable resource into western Fond du Lac County. Nancy talked about two programs that have really taken off over the past couple of years. First of these is the Higher Education cService-Learning Program.
The Volunteer Center works closely with faculty and staff from local higher education institutions to help them develop service-learning experiences for their students. Whenever possible, project ideas are submitted directly by the agencies they serve. Participation in these programs has been growing nicely since they started several years ago.
The second program that Nancy talked about was Youth Civic Engagement & Service-Learning. This program connects youth to service opportunities that will promote civic responsibility, understanding of diversity, skill development, and practical application of curriculum objectives. This is accomplished through the Youth & Family Volunteer Guide, the annual Youth Leadership Camp, summer school programs in Ripon and Rosendale/Brandon school districts, and partnerships with local educators. According to Nancy, this program has exploded, especially as more students are looking for service opportunities for various reasons. The Volunteer Center is currently working with 52 different youth groups to match them up with various service projects that will fulfill the mission of the various groups. While Nancy didn’t give us a number of how many youth are involved it sounds like there are a lot of youth involved in these programs.
Nancy closed with a brief description of “Kitchen Table Kits” that allow just about anyone to do some volunteer activity.