United We Serve

Fresno, CA Every day 19 year old Dallas Kimbler drives from her home in Shaver Lake to South Central Fresno. The Fresno State student spends her mornings mentoring children from a nearby elementary school. Dallas says, "I don't have a job. This is what I do and I enjoy it so much. I'm not getting anything monetary out of it, but I'm getting so much joy in my life because of it. "

Dallas is one of several volunteers at this summer reading program at the ROCC church in South Central Fresno. Program coordinator Kelley Garcia thought she would have trouble recruiting volunteers, but with paying job opportunities scarce, she has more than enough help. She says, "When you don't have a job, you're kinda a little depressed, and so when you serve it kinda makes you feel good."

That's the message President and First Lady Michelle Obama want to send to the American public this summer. Help yourself and your country by volunteering. Local volunteer organizations like "Hands On Central California" are welcoming the message. They're connected with over 100 valley non-profit organizations that need help. "Hands On" board member Brian Traverso says, "There's always a certain quality that we can use from them It's not always environmental work, it could be office skills, it could be children or literacy programs.

So take your time, your talent or just your heart and put it use as a volunteer. For more information on volunteering through "Hands On Central California," go to their website at: www.handsoncentralcal.org

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