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Wanted: Gifts of time and talent

by Zoe Leonard-Monrad, New Sector Fellor

AS A FELLOW WITH New Sector, an AmeriCorps program focused on nonprofit professional development, I am working for eleven months to develop a volunteer program at Rise. This will help team members effectively tap into the talents and time of community members who wish to help enhance programming and support Rise. 

After researching “best practices” and discussing with Rise team members how they could most benefit from community volunteers, we are excited by the different types of volunteer projects we already have underway. 

For instance, two of our business partners have offered their knowledge and expertise to support Rise and the people we serve. Over the next few months, Rahul Sakhamuri, a continuous improvement leader with Cummins Power Generation’s Internal Logistics team, is volunteering his and the rest of his team’s engineering expertise to help redesign some of the many production fixtures Rise workers use. 

In addition, Mark Bergmann, a Rise Board member, and his Target IT team met with Data Ability clerks at both the Spring Lake Park and Crystal locations to share information on careers in technology and effective computer processes. Rise’s data entry clerks demonstrated to the Target team how they use their adaptive computer hardware and software equipment to do their work for Rise and subcontract customers. 

We are also revamping Rise’s internship program and are excited to have a new government affairs intern. Kyle Perisic, a political science student at the University of Minnesota, will assist people in engaging and communicating with policy-makers and legislators so the needs of people with disabilities are prioritized in legislation. 

In addition, a development and special events intern will assist Rise team members prepare for the Celebrate Rise Fundraising Gala and the Tapping Into Possibilities “friend-raising” events, plus other special festivities we are planning for Rise’s 45th anniversary year. 

This is just the beginning of interesting and exciting opportunities to engage people from the community in a wide range of important projects to support Rise’s people and programs. 

What are you interested in? Would you like to conduct mock job interview and edit resumes for job-seekers? Accompany people on community outings? Assist people in music or art therapies? 

If you have ideas on how you -- or a group of friends or co-workers -- would like to volunteer at Rise, I would love to hear from you! Email me at zleonard-monrad@rise.org; or call 763-792-2454. 

This article appears in the March 2016 issue of the Rise Reporter.