NextGen Site Visit: Volunteers of America (Rochester VOA)
May 19, 2016
What has NextGen’s money specifically helped with?
NextGen has given the Volunteers for America two grants in the past two years, and the grants have benefited their programs for children as follows:
- The grant for 2015 which provided four field trips for the children in their After School Program. The field trips provided the children with new experiences, expanded their horizons, and were fun opportunities for experiential learning.
- The grant for 2016 will help support Camp HEROES, which is the VOA’s new summer camp for inner city children, which is staffed solely by Rochester City police officers and firefighters who are volunteering their time. This is a week-long, overnight camp, and there are costs for renting the camp and for food, supplies, etc.
- Volunteers of America operates a Children’s Center in downtown Rochester that serves 350 children every day, helping to prepare them for school and ensuring their parents can move from public assistance to gainful employment.
- The VOA Children’s Center has the only Dental Center on site at a daycare center in the region (and most likely the entire state)
- VOA operates one of only two emergency shelters that provide housing for homeless families that keeps the entire family intact. They serve married couples with children, single fathers with children, single mothers with children, and families with older teen children. Without their shelter, fathers and older teenage boys would be separated from mothers and younger children.
People can visit www.voaupny.org and click on the “How you can help tab” and go to the Volunteer page where they have individual and group activities listed. Individuals can fill out our online form or call Patty Drake at 402-7211 to discuss and/or sign up for a volunteer opportunity. Some of the opportunities include:
- Reading to children at the Children’s Center
- Assisting with an After-School club (i.e. the cooking club, photography, arts & drama, etc.)
- Running a Brightening Birthdays party at their Emergency Shelter for homeless families (called The Guest House)
- Assisting with a special event to benefit VOA (such as their annual Golf Tournament in September)
- Teaching life skills classes at their Emergency Family Shelter (household budgeting, etc.)