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Par­tic­i­pants of Key Oppor­tu­nity’s entre­preneur program make wooden pallet signs to sell. Courtesy | Georgia Mason

Looking to expand their vol­unteer base, Key Oppor­tu­nities will host a vol­unteer training Tuesday, April 23 from noon to 2 p.m. at their Hillsdale Street center.

Key Oppor­tu­nities is an orga­ni­zation com­mitted to pro­viding pro­grams and employment for those in the local com­munity with devel­op­mental dis­abil­ities.

“The day will give people an overview of Key Oppor­tu­nities and our pro­gramming,” Georgia Mason, program manager at Key Oppor­tu­nities. “We will also talk about the very important aspects of safety, and working with people with devel­op­mental dis­abil­ities.”

One current program helps par­tic­i­pants create wooden pallet signs, which they then are able to sell.

“It is so rewarding to see how some of folks who are per­ceived by others to have lim­i­ta­tions, when given cre­ative outlets, can do great things,” Mason said.

Other pro­grams include summer outing trips, as well as employment oppor­tu­nities, which allow for par­tic­i­pants to earn an income at local busi­nesses.

“We work with stu­dents in school dis­tricts and with employers who match employees,” Mason said. “We own mul­tiple busi­nesses, and also work on job skills.”

Key Oppor­tu­nities’ mission is to “educate, empower, and employ,” according to its tagline, which allows them to play a valuable role in its par­tic­i­pants’ lives.

“Places don’t always hire folks with devel­op­mental dis­abil­ities, but we’re here for those who do want to,” Mason said.

With no current vol­un­teers, Mason said she is hoping to expand what Key Oppor­tu­nities is able to offer with more help.

“We are open and flexible,” Mason said. “We will make sure that the needs of the agency are met, but also the needs of vol­un­teers.”

Brooke Lewis-Stiverson, employment coor­di­nator for Key Oppor­tu­nities, said that vol­un­teers will be able to use their own per­sonal talents to help the program’s par­tic­i­pants.

“It will be an oppor­tunity to assist the com­munity in a helpful way,” she said.

Helping par­tic­i­pants find employment has made her expe­rience with Key Oppor­tu­nities “extremely pos­itive,” Lewis-Stiverson said. “I have found my work to be very ful­filling, just being able to watch and assist people meet their goals and assist their dreams.”

Those inter­ested in attending the vol­unteer session can RSVP to 517- 437- 4469 or email gmason@keyopportunities.org.

“We need an extra set of hands,” Mason said. “We would be thrilled to have members of the com­munity, and from the college. There is some­thing for everyone.”