Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Free on Saturday? Opportunity to serve

Scott Bishop, Director of Programs for Project Possible, is coordinating an effort to serve this weekend. Per Scott:

I am working on putting together a yard work project for an 85+ year old woman who lives by herself in North Seattle. She is someone that I have put help together for in the past when I worked for Catholic Community Services a number of years ago. She has some rather tall hedges along her sidewalk on one side of her home that need trimming, blackberry bushes to be removed and possibly some additional yard maintenance like lawn mowing and edging.

The project will take place this Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - it's a 1/2 day event. 8-10 volunteers are needed. If you like working outside in the yard, then this is project for you! Please pass this along to anyone you think may be interested in such an opportunity. You can respond to this email or call me at 425-985-4510 to let me know if you would like to participate.

In my copious "spare" time, I am managing a non-profit organization called Just Ask – registered with the IRS and the Secretary of State in the state of Washington as a 501c3 nonprofit with charitable organization status (Tax ID# 90-0077442). Just Ask seeks to provide assistance for persons living on fixed incomes, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable individuals / families. One of its programs is called Project Possible. This program specifically seeks to connect hands-on volunteer support of a non-medical nature with seniors, adults with disabilities / serious or chronic illness and other vulnerable individuals and families in the Puget Sound region who are living on fixed / limited incomes and are in need of assistance.

The mission is to help these individuals and families to maintain their independence within their own homes or place of residence. The goal then is to assist them with various large scale projects (as well as other complex tasks of daily living) that they are unable to manage by themselves that are of a home maintenance nature e.g. deep cleaning / clutter removal, minor home repair, landscaping / yard work, moving and hauling debris away that require more manpower (think Extreme Makeover Home Edition size and scope projects but without the construction of a new home).

Volunteers would be involved with tasks like those mentioned above at the homes and on the property of these persons. They will make use of a variety of home maintenance types of tools and equipment including things like power tools, lawn mowers, weed trimmers, chain saws, pressure washers, moving dollies etc. Volunteers will be matched with only those tasks for which they are qualified / have training and or have expertise in. They may use their own vehicles in addition to possibly driving other leased/rented specialty vehicles in service to these tasks e.g. moving truck.

Just Ask doesn’t intend to do any actual home construction, renovation or remodeling related projects. Just Ask would seek to partner with / refer needs of this type to qualified individuals / businesses to perform these tasks should such tasks be requested. Volunteers of Just Ask who have qualification, skill and expertise in specific tasks might do minor home repairs like help to repair or build a fence, replace a light switch cover, install smoke detectors or grab bars / railings for example.

Just Ask volunteers might possibly help to build a wheelchair ramp for someone if there were a volunteer / volunteers available who have qualification and expertise to do so. Otherwise, Just Ask will seek out other community partners and or programs to assist/refer the person with this type of need to.

To be registered as a volunteer of Just Ask a person must be at least 16 yrs of age with parental consent. Persons 18 yrs of age are able to volunteer independently. Persons below the age of 16 yrs of age must be accompanied by an adult chaperone(s) that is/are registered as a volunteer(s) with Just Ask in order to participate in projects. All projects will be screened for age appropriateness of activity, which may require all volunteers assigned to a particular project to meet a certain age criteria, in order to insure participant safety.

Just Ask - Project Possible is committed to helping others to successfully maintain their independence within their own homes / place of residence. For all persons who meet the program’s criteria of eligibility and fall within the income guidelines for this program, the service will be provided free of charge. For others that do not meet the criteria for eligibility exactly and fall outside the range of the program’s income guidelines, Just Ask will work together with them to determine and arrange a sliding scale contribution that is within their budget to provide a professional level of service at a substantially reduced rate. Projects are evaluated on a case by case basis to determine what is needed and what can be done.

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