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The Gift of Time: Giving back to the community

Several organizations in the Eugene-area are looking for volunteers. Whether its helping feed the hungry or spending time with homeless pets, there's something for everyone. (SBG photo)

Watch #LiveonKMTR Wednesday, November 23 at 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. for Part 2 of The Gift of Time.

EUGENE, Ore. – Volunteering - it’s a popular resolution that is made at the start of a new year. In “The Gift of Time”, Alan Matthews takes a look at some of the volunteer opportunities available for area residents.

In the first part of the series Monday, we’ll explore a couple of the larger organizations that rely on volunteers and talk with volunteers.

Charles Glenn and Mark Meyer are two men that donate their time to Food for Lane County. Both moved to Eugene in recent years and both were able to learn more about the community through their volunteer efforts.

Charles works in the warehouse, helping breakdown larger boxes of food into smaller boxes. This makes the distribution process easier.

Mark works in the kitchen for Meals on Wheels. They put together 250 meals, 5 days most weeks. Frozen meals are also assembled to help seniors get through the weekends. Mark aids in that process, making sure the meals get out the door.

Food for Lane County deals with about 150 partner agencies, serving about 8 million pounds of food annually. Mark and Charles cover just two of the many opportunities.

Likewise, Greenhill Humane Society relies heavily on their volunteers. The volunteer time is equal to about 18 full time staff positions. Even just 30 minutes can make a difference in the life of an animal.

Ruth Bern is a familiar face from the shelter as she appears on NBC 16 Today with the Pet of the Week segment.

She also takes animals to assisted living facilities to allow them the chance to interact with residents.

Ruth has turned volunteering into a family affair, bringing along her husband and cousin. Younger teens (age 12-15) are encouraged to participate as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

“The Gift of Time” part one will air Monday, November 21 at 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., then again during NBC 16 Today Tuesday, November 22.

For more information on Food for Lane County: foodforlanecounty.org/volunteer

For more information on Greenhill Humane Society: green-hill.org/volunteer_opportunities

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