by Audra Ellis, Tri-County Community Partner Liaison, MiCAFE
As part of our 31 Days of Giving, I volunteered my time at one of Volunteers of America’s Thrift Stores in Lansing. My tasks involved organizing donated merchandise on shelves and straightening the clothes racks. As I worked on these tasks, I couldn’t believe how busy the store was. Items were just flying out the door and donations were steadily coming in. I realized this place has some awesome items for sale and for cheap, so I now understand why it’s so packed. Another neat thing is that the store and organization is mainly ran by volunteers.
Here is a little history about Volunteers of America (VOA), what they do, who they serve, and how the money you spend at their store is spent. Volunteers of America was founded in 1896, which means they have been around 118 years. Their mission is to “reach and uplift” all people. Their focus areas consist of correctional re-entry services, locating and providing housing to veterans and others in need, providing mental health services, senior living and care, and substance abuse recovery.
For each dollar you spend in a VOA retail store, 88 cents goes directly to the community and those in need. Currently, Volunteers of America helps more than 2.5 million people a year. Out of that 2.5 million served, 277,000 are seniors. If you decide to clear out your home of unused items, you may want to consider donating to the Volunteers of America. Your donation is tax deductible.
If you are interested in volunteering your time, check out their website to what opportunities are available. http://www.voami.org/
Before coming to Elder Law, Audra worked as a Shift Leader at Alcohol Drug Administrative Monitoring, where she oversaw shift changes and worked closely with clients developing her communication skills.
As a member of the MiCAFE team, Audra works closely with MiCAFE community partners and seniors in the tri-county area. She also partakes in case management and delegates attorney correspondence, working closely with both clients and attorneys to keep daily activities within the organization running smoothly and efficiently. Audra also helps Elder Law give back to the community by building partnerships with local organizations.