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What I Did on My February Vacation

Students tasked with completing community service have plenty of opportunities in and around Killingworth

It’s February vacation week. Your friends have headed north to ski and south to sun, and there’s just so much Wii and Glee you can handle. Even the kids you babysit are busy on the traditional field trips – the Seaport, the Aquarium, the Peabody Museum – the ones you used to take when you were their age. 

What on earth are you going to do for nine, potentially very long, days in the middle of winter? 

Why not spend your time productively, perhaps knock off a few community service hours, or just give back?

Whether you’re into the arts, books, cats or church, someone can use your help. There are a number of local organizations looking for teenage volunteers.  

"Jazz NightOut is a premiere community service opportunity for teens.  Not only can they help set up the theater the afternoon of the concert but also serve appetizers at night to the audience sitting in the cafe in the orchestra of the theater," said Barbara Nair, Artistic Director at the .

Nair adds, "Tips are allowed! The volunteers not only earn community service hours but also enjoy a top of the line jazz concert.  Many teens come back repeatedly for this volunteer opportunity so if anyone is interested, they should email the Arts Center or call us as soon as possible." 

Another February community service opportunity is helping with the Jazz NightOut postcard mailing. 

"We mail to over 2,500 people so we could really use a group to help put on labels and sort the mailing for the post office," Nair said.

Throughout the year the Arts Center also needs teens and adults to help out with weekend birthday parties for children ages 6-16. 

The Art Center is also looking for models for a Photo Studio Lighting Workshop which will be held on March 13, from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. 

At Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries, Volunteer Coordinator Lin Smith says: "A food drive would be awesome!"

Smith even provides the directions for running your own.

How to Hold Food Drive Stuff-A-Truck in 4 easy steps...

1. Call a local grocery store and ask if you may hold a drive at their location on a specific date and time. Example:  Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

2. Contact Lin Smith at the Shoreline Soup Kitchens (860-388-1988) and ask for the truck to be brought and picked up from the grocery store on the specific date and time.

3. Organize the volunteers to meet at the store.

4. Everyone meets at the store at the specified time, passes out flyers to people entering the store and "Stuffs the Truck" full of donations. Inside the truck there will be boxes to hold the donations, a SSKP Donation Sign and Fliers for them to pass out.

The Killingworth Foundation has proposed a media outreach project.  

"The purpose of the project is to provide Killingworth’s nonprofit organizations, boards and commissions with information on available print and website media sources for getting out information. A list of such organizations and their public relations contact people or chair persons would be compiled, along with the list of media sources," the description reads.  The rough estimate of the number of hours needed would be about 40, and the student(s) should be proficient computer and writing skills. The planned completion date for the project is April 10, 2011.

The has opportunities year-round.

"Some examples of work that volunteers may be asked to do at the library are shelving; shelf reading (making sure shelved items are in order); inventory; weeding assistance; receiving and processing materials; periodical (magazine and newspaper) organization; organizing displays; prepping monthly DVD packets; booksale assistance; and yardwork" head librarian Tammy Eustis told Patch.

Youth & Family Services of Haddam-Killingworth has been compiling a list of nonprofits with volunteer opportunities. Here is a sampling of organizations as well as who to contact:

, Barbara Nair at 860-663-5593

, Reverend Peter Floyd at 860-663-1800

Forgotten Felines, 860-669-1347

, Diane Riley at 860-663-1393

, Reverend  Martha Bays at 860-663-1789

Killingworth Foundation, Kathleen Amoia at 860-663-3130

, Tammy Eustis at 860-663-2000

, Pastor Ryan Young at 860-663-2069

Middlesex Hospital, Kate Kearns at 860-358-6735

Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries, Lin Smith at 860-388-1988

, Father Robert Buongirno at 860-663-2576

Of course, these are just a few of the organizations which could use your help. If you’d like the complete list, please contact  Youth and Family Services of at 860-345-7498. They might also be able to use you!

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