Make a Difference in Miami County

14 Organizations That Need Your Help 

By Tammie Rafferty 
For My Miami County 

Over the last year COVID-19 has limited many volunteer opportunities but the need for assistance from local nonprofit organizations has only grown.  There is an immediate need for community members to volunteer their time and donate goods to help these charities continue their missions and fully reopen their doors.

The following is a list of ways to get involved, whether it is working with animals, feeding the community, reading to children over lunch, teaching a class, or dropping off a few canned goods, there is a place for everyone.  Find the right fit for you.

This list will be updated regularly. If you have a need for volunteers or donations send them to tammierafferty@outlook.com.

Carry and Deliver a New Path

New Path in Tipp City has many volunteer opportunities throughout Miami County.  According to Sherry Loschi, Director of Compassion Ministries, “In Piqua, we need people to carry food to cars at the pantry on Tuesdays, and people to help deliver meals to hundreds of seniors on Saturdays.”  Loschi said, “We also need drivers to pick up furniture donations for JJ’s Furniture in Tipp City, and mechanics for our car ministry.”  Sherry added, “With so many out of work or working from home, hopefully they will consider helping their community.”  Besides volunteers, New Path also takes food, clothing, and housewares donations for Anna’s Closet in Troy, The Gleaning Place in West Milton, and their Tipp City and Piqua pantries.  If you are interested in volunteering, contact Sherry Loschi at (937) 669-1213.

 

Lend a Helping Hand in Tipp City

Tipp Monroe Community Services will be offering their Lunch On Us program this June through August.  Director, Kathy Taylor stated, “Volunteers are needed to hand out lunches at Tipp United Methodist Church between 9:00 and 1:00, and also to ride along to deliver lunches.”  Kathy added, “Later in the year we need volunteers for Run For the Mums and for Halloween.”  If you want to help, call the TMCS office at (937) 667-8631.

 

Helping to Feed Miami County at St. Patrick Soup Kitchen

St. Patrick Soup Kitchen gives out over 2000 meals a month.  Executive Director, Dick Steineman said, “We can always use canned goods, fruit, mashed potatoes, soup, and hamburger but we also need styrofoam carryout containers for all of those meals.”  Donations can be left 24x7 at St. Patrick’s at 25 N. Mulberry St. in Troy, whose door faces Overfield Museum.  Besides donations, Steineman added, “We need volunteers to pass out food.”  If you can help, contact Dick Steineman at (937) 451-1723.

 

Personal Shoppers, Stocking Shelves and Donations

The First Place Food Pantry in Troy needs donations.  Pantry Director, Donna Wilkerson said, “we are at limited capacity for volunteers, but will have opportunities for personal shoppers and stocking shelves when we fully reopen our doors, hopefully in July.”  Until then, Donna welcomes “personal hygiene products, especially disposable razors, and cash donations.”  Items can be left in their cart at 721 Lincoln Avenue.

 

Volunteer with Animals at Our Farm Sanctuary

Our Farm Sanctuary is located at 6495 Agenbroad Road in Tipp City, and is home to animals of all shapes and sizes.  According to Alyssa Morris, “We are always looking for volunteers!”  Morris added, “Volunteer duties include basic and medical cat care, dog walking, livestock care, and horse training.”  They also need farriers, foster homes, transportation services, volunteers to sort, organize, and help with farm upkeep.  If you would like to help, contact Alyssa at volunteers@ourfarmsanctuary.com or at (937) 506-0696 and she will find the right fit for you.

 

Lots and Gobs of Volunteer Opportunities at the Eagles' Wings Stable

Eagles’ Wings Stable provides equine-assisted therapeutic activities for people with special needs to benefit and improve their development and quality of life. Celebrating their 15th anniversary this year, it is a place where Board President, Keith Schaurer says, “Providing hope is a big deal.”  Schaurer also laughed and said, “There are lots and gobs of volunteer opportunities.”  The stable is looking for Barn Buddies to clean stables, horse leaders to walk in the arena, side walkers to walk next to riders, a photographer/videographer, and social media and documentation help.  A list of volunteer positions, volunteer applications, and more information can be found at www.eagleswingsstable.org/volunteer.

 

Give What You Can, Take What You Need

“Give what you can.  Take what you need” is the motto of The Community Food Truck, founded in 2020 by Troy Christian High School senior, Maiya Dilbone.  The Community Food Truck has 11 blessing boxes in Troy and Tipp City that are continuously stocked with unexpired, nonperishable food.  Dilbone said, “The most popular items are soup, canned pasta meals, tuna kits, cereal, drinks, and snacks.  Food can be added or taken 24 hours a day.”  She added, “If groups are interested in hosting a food drive for us or being added to our calendar to stock boxes, that is awesome.”  The best way to reach out to The Community Food Truck to volunteer or to donate is through Facebook where they are quick to respond to messages.  For a complete list of blessing box locations on Google maps, click HERE.

 

Sewing the Seeds of Hope

Seeds of Hope is a grassroots organization started two years ago by Troy residents Katie Vasil and Kristy Inoa to support foster and kinship families.  According to their website, “Our mission is to come alongside and support those who open their hearts and home to foster and kinship children. We know these children can arrive suddenly and sometimes with just the clothes on their backs.  We, along with the help of the community, want to celebrate the lives of these deserving children and plant the first seed of hope in their lives.” Co-founder, Katie Vasil said, “We are always collecting diapers, pull-ups, and wipes, and we collect other donations as needed.”  Kristy Inoa added, “We also host events and do special things for our families throughout the year.  Some of these include an ice cream social, pizza pickup night, school supply giveaway, trunk or treat, Christmas Angel tree, Mother's Day coffee, and more.”  Follow Seeds of Hope on Facebook where immediate needs are often posted.  If you would like to donate, volunteer, or learn more, email them at seedsofhopeoh@gmail.com.

 

Filling Up The Needy Basket

The Needy Basket in Tipp City provided food to well over 1,500 households in 2020.  Longtime volunteer, Marilyn McClurg said, “Needy Basket greatly appreciates donations of nonperishable food items and monetary donations that let us purchase what we need from Shared Harvest at really cheap prices.”  McClurg added, “Volunteers are always needed.”  To volunteer your time or to donate, call (937) 667-1977 or visit www.needybasket.org.

 

Retail Assistance, Skilled Carpenters, Woodworkers and Construction Materials Needed

Habitat for Humanity of Miami and Shelby Counties is best known for their home builds.  Sherrie Lott of Habitat said, “We are completing a final build now and will hopefully have another this summer or fall.”  Sherrie added, “There are always volunteer opportunities at the Habitat ReStore.”  The ReStore has been located at 1490 W. Main St. in Troy for over three years and besides providing on-going volunteer opportunities, donations of construction materials, household goods, and furniture can always be dropped off there.  Habitat also needs skilled carpenters to teach others woodworking skills at their location on Race St. in Troy.  If you have time or talent to donate, complete an application HERE or contact them at (937) 332-3763.

 

Lunchtime Reading and Feeding Children at the Troy Rec

Troy Rec is gearing up for their Summer Lunch Buddy reading literacy program.  Executive Director, Kelly Snyder said, “Lunch Buddies is a four-week program, one hour a day.  We need volunteers who will spend their lunch hour reading with children.”  To volunteer, contact Troy Rec at 937-339-1923.  Snyder added, “Troy Rec also provides weekend bags of food to over 50 young people every Friday, so we always need microwaveable foods, fruit snacks, granola bars, and other similar items for the bags.”  According to Kelly, “Troy Rec has recently partnered with the nonprofit organization We Love Birthday Parties to provide personal care items for teens.”  Food and hygiene items can be dropped off at the Market St. entrance to Troy Rec, Monday through Friday.

Mentors and More Wanted at Partners In Hope

Partners in Hope has recently celebrated their 30th anniversary and will proudly offer those interested a tour of their new facility at 180 E. Race St. in Troy, to learn about the plethora of services they provide. According to Tina Budde, Volunteer Coordinator, “Our biggest priority is building relationships and volunteers are the heart of everything we do.” 

Partners in Hope offers a number of classes, including Financial $ense, Getting Ahead, and Staying Ahead.  They help connect community members with other resources available like mental health services, financial services, and employment assistance.  Tina said, “We need volunteers to act as intake coordinators, help with resumes, be mentors, provide meals for classes, and so much more.”  Budde, who began as a volunteer herself, said, “We want to make sure our volunteers enjoy what they are doing, so work hard to find the right fit.” 

Partners in Hope keeps a fully stocked closet of paper and personal hygiene products (pictured below) and hosts an annual Christmas Shop, all through donations.  To find the right volunteer opportunity or to donate, contact Tina Budde at 937-335-0448.

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Animal Shelter Accepting Volunteer Applications

The Miami County Animal Shelter is accepting volunteer applications.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, print and complete their application HERE, drop it off at 1110 N. County Road 25A in Troy.  If selected, you will need to complete an orientation class before working with the animals.

 

Get Ready to Help at Miami County Parks

According to Mindy Weaver, Volunteer Coordinator at Miami County Parks District, “We haven’t opened service opportunities yet, but are hopeful to have some available in the summer and fall.”  When COVID restrictions have been lifted, contact Mindy at mweaver@miamicountyparks.com to find the right volunteer job.

New Family Abuse Shelter of Miami County Hiring and Seeking Volunteers

The Family Abuse Shelter of Miami County has just opened the doors to their beautiful new facility on Crescent Dr. in Troy.  Assistant Director and Case Manager, Arazeli Ratcliff said, “We always need volunteers and try to match volunteers with a job they enjoy, whether it is administrative, cleaning, or organizing.”  Ratcliff added, “We are also hiring second and third shift people to act as a liaison between our residents and the first shift staff answering phones, assisting with finances, and other needs that arise.” 

Walking through the new shelter, Arazeli pointed out the new playground area and said, “We want to fence in the playground and need the funds to do so.”  Besides monetary donations and volunteers, the shelter needs buckets and mops, paper and plastic products for their cafeteria, especially disposable bowls and paper towels.  To inquire about opportunities, contact Arazeli Ratcliff, who is also affectionately referred to as Abby, at (937) 339-6761, ext. 109.
(Pictured here is the new Family Abuse Shelter in Troy. Photos by Tammie Rafferty) 

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This list will be updated regularly. If you have a need for volunteers or donations send them to tammierafferty@outlook.com.

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