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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Become a “friend” in the new year

Mar 02, 2020 03:39PM ● By Arlyn Macdonald

Friends volunteers at the Ute Indian Museum work to enhance visitors’ experience through fundraising and working in the museum’s botanical gardens.

Volunteers are at the heart of our community, not just because they offer much-needed help to organizations, but because volunteering helps the volunteer.

Research shows that volunteering can increase your health and happiness and relieve stress. Seniors who volunteer in their communities also keep important friendly connections with other people.

Don’t know how to get plugged in? Become a “friend” in the new year by volunteering for a cause you’re interested in.

“Friends” groups are 501(c)(3) federally recognized nonprofits that support and supplement the mission of a specific organization. As a friend, you volunteer to help these groups with their upcoming projects, events and raise funds to support new programs.

Friends support books

friends volunteers
Liz Mauch and Sherry Kammerer volunteer at the Montrose Library

Founded in 1986, the Montrose Friends of the Library underwrites programs attended by thousands of local children, teens and adults. They contributed over $30,000 in 2017 through fundraisers and used book sales. Contributions funded a new microfilm reader/printer and children’s books to the Center for Mental Health, sponsored Sunday Serenades and a Spanish film program, and supported the Bookmobile and summer reading programs.

Volunteers often support book sales by sorting books prior to the sale, setting up and helping the day of. The Board of Directors is also made up of volunteers. For more information, pick up a brochure and membership form at the Montrose Library, 320 S. Second St., or call 249-9656.

Each of the five libraries in Delta County also needs volunteers to help with book sales, bake sales, sorting and handling books and maintaining the landscaping at the libraries. Volunteers are invited to share their talents and expertise by filling out a volunteer application at

Friends monthly meetings are on the second Tuesdays of the month at 3 p.m. at the Delta Library, 211 W. Sixth St. For more information, call 874-9630.

Enhance visitor experience at the Ute Indian Museum

The Friends of the Ute Indian Museum was newly reorganized to focus on education and projects that enhance the experience of visitors to the Ute Indian Museum.

Spring volunteer opportunities are available in the new Ethno-Botanic gardens in Ute Indian Park, which was re-planted with plants native to the area. Two new picnic tables were also donated by members of the Friends, and this year’s fundraising has established a garden fund, a Ute Indian scholarship fund and helped offset advertising expenses for the museum. The Friends also held the first Chipeta Art Show last summer and helped out at the film festival.

Stop by the museum, 17253 Chipeta Road in Montrose, to pick up a membership application. Call 249-3098 for details.

Be a Trail Ambassador

The Black Canyon is a natural treasure. The Friends of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison was founded in 2017 to be a “modern citizen action group to aid the national park with fundraising, advocacy and volunteer support.”

If you love the outdoors, volunteers are needed as Trail Ambassadors. These volunteers are trained to walk the trails, provide safety tips and advice on things to see in the park, and check for permits for wilderness trails. The new Kids at the Black program is looking for volunteers and community partners to help enrich children’s experiences at the park. Funds are being raised to install and replace 87 tent pads in all three campgrounds. For details, call 641-2337, ext. 205.

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