(507) 387-1666
421 East Hickory Street, Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 387-1666
421 East Hickory Street, Mankato, MN 56001

VOLUNTEER

Volunteers are an integral part of VINE.  We have hundreds of volunteers who give countless hours of help to older adults, people with disabilities and individuals and families encountering difficult life situations in our community.  

VINE’s volunteers represent Greater Mankato’s diversity and are always willing and eager to share their expertise to help VINE grow. It is through their commitment and energy that VINE has been successful and helped so many people in need.

Become a VINE Volunteer

Call today, (507) 387-1666, to sign up for volunteer training and learn how you can share your skills helping others through VINE, the VINE Adult Community Center & the VINE Home Thrift Store. Orientation takes place monthly at the VINE office, 421 E. Hickory Street in Mankato. 

Save the Date for the next orientation: December 6.

VOLUNTEER HOTLINE

For volunteer convenience and to facilitate timely submission of volunteer hours, VINE has established a volunteer hotline. Volunteers can call the hotline 24 hours a day and leave a message on the recording indicating time and mileage spent volunteering. Information may also be submitted online at SchedulesPlus. Information can be submitted daily or weekly. VINE appreciates the efforts of volunteers and we thank you for taking time to report your service information which is integral for the grants we receive. If you have questions about this procedure, call Adam Massmann at (507) 386-5574.

Volunteer Hotline: call (507)-387-8813 or click here.

FAQ

Is there a minimum amount of time that one is expected to volunteer?

No. Volunteers share their time in a variety of ways and for varying amounts of time – from daily, to one or two times a month. Some volunteers choose to share a specific skill such as helping with small home repairs. In this case, we will call you when your help is needed and you can let us know if you are available.

I don’t want to be tied down to a schedule. Can I work on call?

Many volunteer jobs are filled on an on-call basis – particularly in the area of transportation. We generally call volunteers to fulfill requests a day or two ahead of time. The majority of transportation opportunities are during regular Monday – Friday business hours. We do offer occasional weekend opportunities for such things as gardening or volunteering at the Thrift Store. Please let us know when you are available and we’ll find an opportunity that fits your schedule. Once you say ‘yes’ to a volunteer job, our expectation is that you are committed to doing the job. Our care receivers will be counting on you.

I’m a snowbird. Can I still volunteer?

Many of our volunteers leave the area for a warmer climate during the winter months and others head up north in the summer. Let us know when you are leaving and when we can start calling you again.

Does VINE reimburse volunteers for their mileage?

VINE offers to reimburse volunteer drivers when we have arranged for you to provide a ride for a specific passenger. We currently provide reimbursement at ten cents under the federal mileage rate.

Are there opportunities to volunteer on a one-time project with a group?

VINE’s annual fall Rake the Town service event is a great way for youth groups, sororities, fraternities, confirmation classes, and groups of co-workers, to share their time in service to others. Group volunteer opportunities are available throughout the year. If interested in organizing a volunteer team to work on a project, contact Adam at (507) 386-5574.

Testimonials

  • I enjoy being with older people and giving back to the community. Volunteering also makes me feel good.

    Pat Schultz
    Respite Center Volunteer since 2009
  • I volunteer at the Fitness Center, because I thought that it would help me keep on track. After I do my volunteer work, I work out. I like being here too.

    Linda Christnagel
    Fitness Center Volunteer since 2015
  • I like meeting all the people who come in the front door of the VINE Adult Community Center. I get to know them and I just like being here and helping.

    Mary Foley
    Front Desk Volunteer since 2009
  • People from all walks of life come. I have met a lot of retired professionals that I would have not otherwise met if I did not come and volunteer.

    Tony Wamma
    Volunteer since 2015
  • I looked around at various volunteer organizations and VINE was the one that came to the top because of all the options that a person has when they volunteer with VINE.

    Steve Hanson
    Thrift Store, Chores, VINE Board Volunteer since 2012
  • Volunteering is always something that I wanted to do. I enjoy delivering Meals on Wheels and the conversations I have, even if it is a brief thank you.

    Dan Nelson
    Transportation and Meals on Wheels Volunteer since 2013
  • I find it very rewarding to meet and interact with people through VINE’s programs. I feel it’s a way I can contribute.

    Vicki Schmidt
    Caring Connections Volunteer since 2012
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total VINE Volunteers
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total number of volunteer hours provided in 2016
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total people assisted in 2016
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adult volunteers

Volunteer Opportunities

Adopt a House for Mowing/Snow Removal

Volunteers adopt a house for the summer or winter season and either mow or shovel snow. Mowing is completed about every two weeks. With snow removal, volunteers are asked to shovel/blow snow from driveways and sidewalks any time it snows more than two inches. Mowing/snow removal could be done with the volunteer’s equipment or the care receiver’s, or in some cases VINE’s equipment.

Boards & Committees

Individuals may assist on the VINE Board of Directors or on special fundraising/event planning committees.

Caring Connection

Working through VINE’s Caring Connection Program, volunteers aged 55+ provide friendship and support to a peer as they face the changes and challenges of growing older. VINE care receivers typically meet with their peer mentors two to four times a month for about an hour and might go for a walk, talk, play cards, or go somewhere on an outing.

Diversity Programming/Advocacy

With support and guidance from VINE’s Special Access Diversity Coordinator, volunteers will assist refugees and newly arrived immigrants successfully adjust to life in America. Volunteers will assist with transportation, advocacy, completing forms, enhancing English language skills, etc.

Driver (Route Driving)

Using VINE’s minivans, volunteer drivers pick up several people on a route in the Mankato and/or North Mankato area and deliver them to their medical appointments. After the care receiver has finished with their appointment, the VINE driver brings them home.

Driver (Using Your Own Vehicle)

Every day, VINE’s drivers take community members to the doctor and other appointments, on shopping trips and errands, and to exercise classes. Volunteers do not lift people out of wheelchairs, but may offer a steady arm or carry a package for someone. During the time that the care receiver is busy with their appointment, the volunteer is free to do their own errands. VINE’s transportation staff calls the volunteer several days before the scheduled ride and drivers are free to accept or decline an assignment based on their own plans. Volunteers indicate their preference for where they would like to drive, including local and out-of-town trips. Mileage reimbursement is available.

Fitness Center

Volunteers are scheduled a few times a month to assist fitness center members with any questions they might have with the fitness equipment. Individuals volunteering in the fitness center must be a premium VACC member and go through the HUR equipment training.

Hot Meals on Wheels

Volunteers commit to deliver a Meals on Wheels route twice a month. Meals are picked up in North Mankato and delivered to individuals in the Mankato, North Mankato, and Eagle Lake areas. The routes are typically completed in one hour.

In-Home Respite Care

Give a family caregiver a break by volunteering to spend 2-3 hours with their loved one with a progressive illness in the care receiver’s home. No medical cares are provided by our volunteers. Sometimes the care receiver is up for visiting, other times volunteers read a book and are just present to ensure safety.

Lawn Mowing/Snow Removal

Volunteers commit to assisting VINE staff with these tasks as a team. Scheduling is flexible and VINE provides the equipment needed.

Literary Center

Volunteers assist individuals with reading, English language skills, and/or computer skills. They may be matched one-on-one with an individual or participate in a group.

Nursing Home/Hospital Transition Support

Volunteers assist those returning home from a short stay at a local care center for about 3-4 weeks with tasks that they might find difficult to complete. Volunteers may prepare meals, do light housework, make a daily reassurance call, or even take the dog for a walk.

Raking

You’ll assist a community member who might find it difficult to accomplish their spring or fall raking on their own. VINE has rakes available for use.

Receptionist at the VACC

Receptionists are the front lines at VINE and the VACC. They are the first friendly face the public sees when they enter our building. Receptionists answer many questions and phone calls and take class registrations. They are also responsible for checking out locker keys, assisting with check-in questions, and other office related tasks.

Receptionist with AARP Program

Volunteers take phone calls and schedule tax appointments, sort and organize forms, assist with completion of forms, etc.

Respite Center

VINE’s professional staff and dedicated volunteers provide care for people with a progressive illness who cannot be safely left home alone. Volunteers simply befriend the participants and encourage their participation in planned activities. They are not responsible for personal cares. Volunteers commit to a four-hour time period with this program at least once a month.

Small Home Repairs/Maintenance

Care receivers request help with things such as changing lightbulbs and smoke detectors, installing grab bars, trimming shrubs, replacing a washer on a leaky faucet, etc. We rely on volunteers to accomplish these tasks.

Special Events & Fundraisers

Volunteers assist VINE staff with serving food, setting up tables and chairs, selling/collecting tickets, raising funds, etc.

Tax Prep with AARP Program

Trained volunteers assist older adults and lower to middle income taxpayers file their tax returns. Tax preparers should be computer literate, have an interest in tax and financial issues and enjoy working with the public. Some tax or financial background is desirable, but not required. Individuals should have experience preparing their own tax returns. Training is provided.

Teach Evidence-Based Health Classes

Volunteers go through training and teach community members classes like Matter of Balance and Chronic Disease Self-Management. The classes might be held in Mankato or another community and are led by two teachers.

Thrift Store Pickups

Volunteers assist VINE staff in picking up and transporting furniture and other home goods from community member’s homes to the VINE Store. Individuals must be able to lift 50-100 pounds.

Thrift Store Sales/Cleaning/Repairs

Individuals provide support to the VINE store staff with ringing up items on the cash register, cleaning items in preparation of sale, organizing and pricing items, repairing broken items, etc. Training is provided and schedules are flexible.

Thrift Store Estate Packing

Occasionally community members will ask the VINE Store to pack up their loved one’s belongings after a death or move. Volunteers provide the time and energy to sort, pack, and move items from the home into the waiting VINE truck. Typically volunteers work in teams of 4-5 people with materials for packing provided by the VINE Store.

Weeding/Gardening

Volunteers assist older friends and neighbors with weeding and garden work. We do not adopt gardens for the whole season, but rather provide one-time assistance at the start or end of the growing season.

Window Washing

No one wants to look out a dirty window. Volunteers wash the inside and outside windows, but don’t have to get up on ladders; we wash ground floor windows only.

Contact us to learn more about volunteering for VINE
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