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 [email protected] 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.

Interested volunteers please contact ESLC Volunteer Coordinator Shoua Khang at [email protected] or 651-504-4888 or URVC at [email protected] or 612-625-8016.

—Deanne Magnusson, URVC vice chair and project director