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Service organizations still struggling to find volunteers in pandemic

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 10:00 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Businesses that lost employees during the pandemic are still recovering, and the problems for volunteer organizations are sometimes even worse.

Over at Hope House of Augusta, they say volunteers are the heart of the operation.

“In this facility, we can have up to 18 children at one time. It puts a lot more work on the staff,” childcare coordinator Cheryl Lizama said.

The summer associates are provided by the United Way of the CSRA, the sponsoring agency for the AmeriCorps Vista program in our area.

They say it was a struggle to get more volunteers, as this year the number of applicants decreased by 50 percent. But it didn’t stop volunteers like Linda Camille Brinson and Kyleigh Elliott from helping out.

“I just missed being around kids,” Camille Brinson said.

“I just love being able to help people so whether people decide to or not that’s not going to really change the way I feel,” Elliott said.

Over at the YMCA, they say opportunities are down and volunteers aren’t quite back in full effect.

And the American Legion Post in North Augusta says while things are making progress many of their volunteers are much older and may never return back.

While many organizations say their hopeful things will be back to normal by the end of the year - they couldn’t be more thankful for the new relationships and helping hands out making a difference in our community.

“Know that I’m advancing someone else’s life as well as my own,” Elliott said.

“Anything, any way that I can help my community,” Camille Brinson said.

As volunteer opportunities continue to open in phases, they’re encouraging anyone with free time on their hands to get more involved within the community.

Augusta University has a full list of volunteer opportunities for organizations in our local areas. Click here to find more.

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