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Girls Incorporated seeks time, not money

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Many charities step up their pleas for cash toward the end of the tax year, but Girls Incorporated of Greater Indianapolis wants your time.

Girls Inc. needs 100 new volunteers by the end of December to facilitate winter programs across the metro area, spokeswoman Gabrielle Benson said.

“If we aren’t able to recruit enough volunteers to cover the demand for programs, we must turn to a paid part-time and full-time staff,” she explained.

Since making a strategic change three years ago, Girls Inc. has seen interest in its programs on self-esteem, media literacy and money management take off. Before 2007, Girls Inc. served a few hundred girls in two facilities in the Fountain Square and Meridian Kessler neighborhoods. Those clubs were closed, and Girls Inc. began taking its programs to schools and community groups.

Girls Inc. expects to end 2010 with a little more than 4,000 registrations, up from 2,625 in 2009.

“Our early projections indicate we’ll reach 5,024 program registrations by the end of 2011,” Benson said.

Girls Inc. says its volunteers are “thoroughly trained to deliver interactive and empowering programs.”

The winter session, which begins Jan. 18, is the most difficult for attracting volunteers, Benson said. Programs, which are for girls ages 6 to 14, take place Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Volunteers must be available for at least an hour a week for six weeks. They can select the program they want to lead, age group with which they want to work, and a convenient location to their home or office.

“Girls Inc. volunteers are role models that can share personal, real-world experiences with our girls,” said LaTasha Hudson, volunteer partnership coordinator. “They are multifaceted and come to us with a variety of professional experiences, as well as levels of education, and are looking for an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.”

All volunteers must be at least 18 and have reliable transportation. For more information, call Mollie Hicks, volunteer specialist, at 522-2608, or apply online at girlsincindy.org.

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