Louisville Magazine

JAN 2017

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 12.16 41 "I have never done any kind of service that I walked away from thinking I did more good for the community than the community did for me," says Mandy Simpson, Metro United Way's manag- er of strategic volunteer engagement. Simpson cites several international studies that found that those who vol- unteer their time actually feel like they have more of it, that volunteering can benefit physical health. No more excus- es. Here are some ways to get involved: Search the more than 100 volunteer opportunities on Metro United Way's website. If you're not sure where to start, think about your skills. Can you cook? Play the piano? Do you have a public-relations background or do you still remember the quadratic formula? Maybe you're passionate about the environment. Bernheim could use some help getting information out to its 5,000 members. Maybe you want to give the homeless a boost. House of Ruth needs someone to help with its Clothes Closet. Maybe you want to help families with young children. St. Bernadette could use some diapers. e needs go on and on. Also, because Metro United Way focuses on the root causes of societal challenges, its neediest area is educa- tion. Take an hour out of your day every couple of weeks to read to, tutor or mentor a kid. You can fill out an application on Metro United Way's website to get started. Metro United Way's Lead Impact Network Change, or LINC, program is for busy young professionals who want to get involved and meet new people over food and drinks. Past groups have assembled kindergarten-countdown kits; donated sweatshirts from their alma maters; written letters to youth encouraging them to go to college; and built Little Free Libraries. If you're ready for more committed volunteering, try the Center for Non- profit Excellence's Board Match. More than 300 nonprofits are looking for board members on the CNPE website, which its founders liken to Match. com. Individuals fill out a profile that includes their top three interests (say, veterans, the arts and seniors). en they are matched to several boards based on those interests. You don't have to commit to a board, but it starts the conversation. Sarah Stalker, CNPE director of community engagement and member- ship, strongly encourages those who have never served on a board before to take a board-training class. CNPE offers these classes a couple times a year, with the next one in April. Stalker says another way to get a feel for nonprofit work is to serve on a committee first. — Mary Chellis Austin Congressman John Yarmuth: "It happens on a weekly basis, if not a daily basis, particularly with regards to healthcare. I've been involved with the Affordable Care Act and defending the Affordable Care Act. I get stories from people who have had their lives saved urging me to protect it. Got a letter last week from a guy whose daughter is suffering from pancreatitis. She's 21 now and has been suffering from it since she was 15. She's had 20-something surgeries and is still on her parents' plan because of the ACA. Compounding that, the dad's now been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. is was a snail-mail letter of all things. It's heart-wrenching, but it's not at all unusual. "One of my favorite things to do is walk through Costco on the weekend. People come up to me all the time. One case, a woman (told me she) almost died. She went to the emergency room and they told her that if she had waited one more hour, she would have been dead. Now she's on her parents' policy and doesn't have to go to the ER. "But it's not all healthcare-related. I vis- ited the Safe Place headquarters and met some of the young people there. ere was one guy, Robby, who was passed around to six or seven different foster homes. He was a runaway, and Safe Place took him in. He was graduating with honors, so we brought him to Washing- ton to testify. I sponsored the Runaway Homeless Youth Act (which funds home- less youth intervention services). Some stories have motivated me to get involved in an issue; others have kept me fighting for the laws currently in place." Write your representative

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