Professional Volunteer Corps, based in Washtenaw County, offers single people the opportunity to get involved in projects that help non-profit agencies serve the community.
Betty Tecco of Saline joined PVC in the spring of 2009 shortly after she retired from her job as a lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Nursing.
While still working, she read an article in The Saline Reporter describing one of the projects and sharing information about the group. She thought it sounded like something she might like to join, but wanted to wait until she had more time to actively participate in the events and projects.
The group works with non-profit organizations such as Food Gatherers, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, Washtenaw Literacy, Natural Area Preservation, Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, American Cancer Society, NEW Center, and many others with specific one-time projects.
Tecco likes that PVC assists non-profit agencies in providing a service to those in need. “PVC efforts are geared toward making people’s lives better in some way,” she said.
Tecco also is attracted to the wide variety of projects offered by PVC.
“If you don’t find something to interest you this month, wait until next month and there will likely be something then,” she said.
Members choose from a variety of projects that match their interests and schedules such as silent- auction fundraisers, mailings, park maintenance, sorting food, clothes and toys, run and walk events, cooking and serving meals to the needy, and ushering for concert performances.
Short-term volunteer opportunities are set up on weekends, with an average time commitment of three hours per project.
“The projects I have most enjoyed have been things such as working for Grillin’ – the annual fundraiser for Food Gatherers; cooking a meal at Ronald McDonald House or helping prepare meals at the Community Kitchen; sorting toys and food for the Salvation Army; helping with mailings for various agencies in Ann Arbor; ushering for the Life Sciences Orchestra concerts; and many other activities too numerous to list them all,” Tecco said.
Food Gatherers Grillin’ is a chance to raise money for a very worthy cause. It is also a wonderful opportunity to meet those who attend, and others like herself, who have come to volunteer their time, she said.
Preparing meals at Ronald McDonald house and the county’s homeless shelter, Delonis Center Community Kitchen, is a way to lighten the load for those who need a helping hand, Tecco said.
Professional Volunteer Corps also offers social activities for its members such as trips to area attractions, cultural arts performances, outdoor events, a restaurant club and walking group.
“I have very much enjoyed being a part of the group,” she said. “I was especially pleased to learn that not only were many possibilities for volunteering offered each month, but the same was true for social activities, as well. And the wide variety for each area means there is sure to be something of interest for each member.”
Her participation in PVC led to involvement in other volunteer activities at the Delonis Center Community Kitchen and Mott House, located inside the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital.
“(Since) I had the opportunity to work with those groups through PVC, I discovered that I wanted to contribute to them on a regularly scheduled basis on my own,” Tecco said.
At the Delonis Center, she prepares and serves meals, and cleans up afterward.
“When I volunteered through Professional Volunteer Corps to work Grillin’, I learned about the need for volunteers to work in the Community Kitchen, which is sponsored by Food Gatherers. Because you are able to select from various days and shifts, it fit my schedule well. I have been doing it for four years now and still look forward to going in,” she said.
Her work at Mott House involves stocking coffee and food items, orienting new families, and restocking rooms when they leave the hospital.
Tecco became interested in helping Mott House, where parents of critically ill children can remain for a brief time on the same or nearby floor while their child is in an intensive care unit. As a retired nursing lecturer, she was aware of parents’ need for a close-by place to rest when they didn’t want to leave their children’s bedsides. When the new Mott Hospital opened, she eagerly volunteered to work there.
With all of her volunteer activities, she says her time is well spent.
“In all my volunteer experiences, I find satisfaction in being able to do something for others who may not have been as fortunate in their lives as I have been,” she said. “Call it a warm, fuzzy feeling. It makes me feel good. I hope to be able to continue for as long as I am able. It causes me to pause and be grateful.”
Professional Volunteer Corps holds monthly membership meetings at 7:30 p.m. on the second Friday of the month at the NEW Center, 1100 N. Main St., in Ann Arbor. At the meetings members discuss projects, conduct business and participate in social opportunities. There is an information session for prospective members at 7 p.m. before each meeting.
Anyone who is single, widowed or divorced, and at least 25 years of age can join. The annual membership fee is $40. For more information, visit a2pvc.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.