URVC—Making a difference
More than 500 U of M retirees, spouses, partners, and friends currently participate in virtual or on-site volunteer opportunities—on the Twin Cities campus or in the metro area—offered through the University Retirees Volunteer Center (URVC). Working with U of M units and community agencies, the all-volunteer URVC project team facilitates the development of these volunteer opportunities and the recruitment of participants.
A sampling of current and upcoming volunteer opportunities includes:
Future City Competition seeking judges
The Future City Competition engages more than 45,000 middle school students each year throughout the United States and abroad. Students attest that the program increases their motivation and excitement about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and teachers report a marked improvement in students’ 21st century skills.
“A Waste-Free Future” is the theme for the 2021–22 competition. Engineers, surveyors, architects, city planners, scientists, and other STEM professionals are needed to volunteer as judges to evaluate the students’ work.
Afghan refugee resettlement
Since September, more than 100 Afghan families have arrived in Minnesota after fleeing their country under extreme circumstances. One of the Minnesota agencies providing volunteers to assist with services for those arrivals is the Salvation Army Northern Division Emergency Disaster Services.
Working alongside Hennepin Country Human Services site managers, volunteers help with immediate needs for the evacuees—bringing meals, sorting donations, having fun with the kids!—at a temporary shelter in a metro-area hotel.
To find the registration links for both these activities, log on to the URVC volunteer site and click on the Projects tab at the top of home page. Or you may contact URVC by email (preferred) at URVC@umn.edu or by phone at 612-625-8016.
Literacy Mentors needed for East Side Learning Center
A key aspect of the tutoring and mentoring programs at the East Side Learning Center (ESLC) in St. Paul is the one-on-one time students have with a caring adult. For this Literacy Mentors program, volunteers will work with preK to third grade students who are not yet at age-appropriate reading level and will benefit from one-on-one, in-person, or virtual tutoring.
ESCL is an affiliate host of the national, intergenerational tutoring program, AARP Foundation Experience Corps.
—Deanne Magnusson, URVC vice chair and project director
November 2022 Meeting
At A Glance
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Campus Club, Fourth Floor
Coffman Memorial Union
10:30–11 a.m. Check-in
11:15 a.m. Buffet lunch
Kathryn Pearson, Ph.D.
Wild Pacific salmon crusted with sesame seeds, pan seared and drizzled with sesame ginger tamari sauce. (GF, DF) Served with roasted sweet potatoes, a seasonal vegetable, and bread.
Vegetarian bowl option.
RSVP by November 5
Prepayment of $30 per person.
Cancellations and refunds will be honored until November 5. We are not able to accommodate reservations on the day of the event.
For a discounted rate of $1 per hour in University parking facilities, use the QR code on the back of your UMRA membership card when exiting. Credit cards only.
Inspired by a true story, this saga told by a WWII veteran is the tale of a destitute young man during the Great Depression who found a reason to keep living against all odds: driving two giraffes from New York City to San Diego. Learn more.
After a year of planning and site development work by the members of the UMRA web migration team, we will launch a new UMRA website in December. You'll still find all the content you've come to rely on as well as an annual calendar with recordings from past events, and article filters.
Contrary to popular belief, losing neurons is not a major occurrence with aging. However, loss of synapses is associated with aging, but it can be reversed with activities that promote synaptic growth. Learn more.
UMRA members and guests enjoyed being together "in real life" at the Campus Club in Minneapolis for UMRA's October 2022 luncheon forum featuring Jessica Hellmann, director of the U of M Institute on the Environment. Learrn more.
Future changes to Medicare resulting from the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 were explained during UMRA’s October workshop along with the features that distinguish U of M retiree health plans from other, lower-premium plans.
This Tender Land is an epic coming-of-age story set in Minnesota during the summer of 1932. It chronicles a mesmerizing journey of four children who escape the horrors of the Lincoln Indian Training School and sneak away in a canoe in search of a home. Learn more.
UMRA Past President Jerry Rinehart retired from the University as vice provost and dean of students. He is admired for being a “powerfully gentle” leader, and he continues to be an exemplar of service to others. Learn more.
UMRA’s Professional Development Grants for Retirees program is an annual competition with applications accepted October 1 to December 31. Funding of up to $5,000 per grant is available. Retirees from all five campuses within the U of M System are eligible. Learn more.
After a year of planning and site development work, the UMRA web migration team will launch a redesigned UMRA website in December, reorganized, and with a fresh new look.
UMRA member Chip Peterson retired from the U of M Learning Abroad Center, and in his younger days hitchhiked through every mainland country in the Americas, some 100,000 miles. Learn more.
UMRA has reserved a block of 30 seats for the Gophers vs. Presbyterian College game at Williams Arena on Sunday afternoon, November 20. Email Will Craig to purchase your tickets by November 4. Learn more.
More than a dozen University units, including Northrop and U of M Bookstores, offer nice discounts to UMRA members. Let's show our support by giving them our business while enjoying a discounted price. Learn more.
Leaders of the University Retirees Volunteer Center have identified an important volunteer opportunity at the International Institute of Minnesota: helping refugees and asylum seekers complete the complicated paperwork required for visa applications and becoming U.S. citizens. Learn more.