Shawn Scanlon of Saline found himself unemployed with time on his hands and a desire to give back to the community.
Professional Volunteer Corps, based in Washtenaw County, fit the bill. It offers single people the opportunity to get involved in projects that help nonprofit agencies serve the community.
He found out about the group after someone recommended it to him.
“The idea of doing charitable work with a consistent group of like-minded, charitable people seemed very appealing” said Scanlon, secretary on the PVC board.
The group works with many organizations, including 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.
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, and ushering for concert performances.
Short-term volunteer opportunities are set up on weekends, with an average time commitment of three hours per project.
PVC 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 like the projects and the social events that take place outside, particularly during the summer months,” he said.
Scanlon said his participation in PVC is satisfying and meaningful.
“I’ve made friends with a group of interesting and intelligent people and, whether it’s doing the volunteer work (projects) or going to social events, it’s always rewarding.”
“The people are what I like best about the group. We always manage to get along and the conversation is inspired, and we have fun while doing both projects and socials,” he said.
Scanlon sums up his experience this way: “It has helped me make new friends and that’s never a bad thing! But also it’s given me the chance to do good work for the community.”
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.