There are many organizations in the Detroit area that are not only volunteer run, but are fun places to hang out and improve your quality of life in many ways. Here are five great places to volunteer this holiday season and beyond.
The Redford Theatre
17360 Lahser Road
Detroit, MI 48219
The Redford Theatre keeps raising the bar with novel and exciting programs that complement its feature film presentations. For example, the Redford recently presented “The Music Man” starring Shirley Jones (also known as Mom on “The Partridge Family”) and brought the actress to the theatre for three live presentations and an intimate meet and greet. Attendees could have photos taken with the actress and get memorabilia autographed. The theatre also brought in classic stars, such as Mary Badham from “To Kill a Mockingbird” and Karolyn Grimes from “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Volunteers comprise 100 percent of the entire operation.
20900 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn, MI 48124
Volunteers at Greenfield Village rave about how well they are treated, and love being part of the action. The museum has excellent special programs like Christmas nights, where costumed singers stroll about and re-create the ambiance of the mid 1800s. The old-fashioned Eagle Tavern schedules holiday dinners featuring foods grown on-site, and include period entertainment. Volunteers get to drive the Model Ts and operate the fantasy carousel.
Detroit Institute Of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
Imagine being a volunteer in a palace surrounded by billions of dollars worth of fine arts – original works by Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Rodin, Bernini, Andy Warhol and giants of the art world. This unique opportunity could be yours. Applications for the March, 2014 training sessions are now available for potential Interpretive Programs Volunteers (docents).
Detroit Historical Museum
5401 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
Detroit legends Gordie Howe, Martha Reeves and Lily Tomlin have cast their handprints and signatures in cement outside the Detroit Historical Museum. You, too, can lend the museum a hand. Candidates must go through a rigorous background check since the museum hosts large numbers of elementary school children, but the collection appeals to people of all ages.
Hospice Of Michigan
26957 Northwestern Highway, #140
Southfield, MI 48033
Hospice of Michigan provides three days of training about grief and loss issues, which benefits volunteers who make regular visits to patients and families, as well as vigil and My Stories volunteers. People who have sewing talents can volunteer to sew teddy bears from the clothing of lost loved ones. There are many different types of positions available, but candidates must attend specialized training tailored to the organization.
Romero Anton Montalban-Anderssen is the winner of the 2009 first prize in journalism from the Detroit Working Writers Organization. He has seasonal residency in Detroit Michigan, The Italian Riviera, and Honolulu Hawaii. His work can be found at Examiner.com.