Volunteering Makes us Better People.
Volunteering teaches us that others have needs and that we actually have a lot to give. And maybe a lot to be grateful for. Volunteering also helps our communities do exceptional work for those who may need it. Whether at the animal shelter or at the public library, our strengths can grow our community’s strengths.
At RPA, giving back to the community starts with its Freshman Seminar class, which incorporates weekly volunteerism in Redmond’s elementary schools. In addition, we’ve partnered with Camp Tamarack, Big Brothers Big Sisters, SMART Reading, Brightside Thrift Store and Animal Shelter, the Latino Community Association, and Deschutes County Library. We have student representatives on City of Redmond Commissions. Our students not only give to our community, they can earn elective credit for volunteering too. In addition, students should keep track of their volunteer hours for college and scholarship reporting purposes (there’s a great form for that here).
Here’s how to engage in the process:
Decide on a place you’d be interested in giving your time to. Maybe you want to help with something you’re good at (working with young children, cleaning, answering telephones) or maybe you aren’t experienced yet but want to learn more. Here are some links to start looking:
- Brightside Thrift Store
Allergic to animals but still want to help? Give your time to the Thrift Store, which supports almost one-third of the shelter’s annual budget! (paperwork link here)
- Brightside Animal Shelter
For each displaced animal that comes to BrightSide Animal Center, there is an opportunity for animal shelter volunteers to provide exercise, socialization, cleaning, grooming, fundraising, and fostering to help make animals healthy and friendly pets for their permanent new homes.(paperwork link here)
- SMART Reading
The program concept is simple: pair an adult volunteer with children for two, one-on-one 30-minute reading sessions. Children read with two different volunteers each week for seven months, totaling up to 28 hours of individual volunteer attention. Volunteers model the joy of reading while supporting the child’s efforts to read independently.
- Deschutes County Library
The Deschutes Public Library is a window to the world of reading, learning, and information, and serves citizens of all ages throughout Deschutes County. Getting the right information to the right person at the right time is our primary mission. The Deschutes Public Library consists of six branches located in Bend, East Bend, La Pine, Redmond, Sisters, and the Sunriver area.
- Camp Tamarack
Originally founded in 1935 as a horse camp for girls, by Donna Gill and Lucile Murphy, Camp Tamarack has served the youth of Central Oregon for 79 years. The camp has changed owners several times over the years,but was most recently purchased by On Belay TY, whose vision is to provide a place where children can experience everything the outdoors has to offer. Become an outdoor school counselor today!
***(Please note that some organizations have regulations in regard to age. For example, Brightside Animal Shelter has many opportunities for students to volunteer, but will not allow students under 18 to work with dogs. In addition, please check with the organization for any paperwork needed.)
Schedule a meeting with your high school advisor to fill out the Self-Created Course Form (please fill out as much as you can before the meeting). Using this form, you will come to an agreement about how you will display proficiency in this elective class. For example, you could write papers, design a Powerpoint presentation, take a test, or build a portfolio of work. You will also develop a timeline determining when the course will be completed. This form must be signed by the student, parent, instructor, and counselor.
Once you have completed the form please turn it into your high school counselor and the course will be added to your schedule.