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Cardinal Services INC. of Indiana

Mission Statement: The mission of Cardinal Services is to support people with challenges or disabilities in reaching their personal goals.

The Cardinal Services caters to a very wide range of people and families across the area. They have programs ranging from working with newborn children and their families, to caring for the elderly in residential settings. Most of the programs at the center revolve around individuals who are disabled, and facilitating their dreams and goals, as well as helping families to better deal with the challenges that accompany having a family member who is as such. They also run a program for Latino immigrants that help them adjust to the United States, as well as assistance in finding employment, housing and acceptable educational systems and opportunities.

As the services of the Cardinal Center are so varied, so are the volunteer opportunities. Listed below are the main and easiest ways that the center suggests volunteers participate:

  • Activity Room Helper: Assist developmental Specialists in classroom activities like reading to clients, directing craft projects and other activities that develop and maintain dexterity and hand-eye coordination. (All age groups involved)

  • Bilingual Translator: Assist Spanish-speaking individuals in securing services by helping them fill out forms, make appointments, and understand instructions. (Great for language students)

  • Classroom Helper: Work with small children in the Early Head Start/Head Start programs, reading to them and helping them learn through play, helping with meal and nap time as well as teaching the children lessons of sharing and acceptance. (Recommended for Early Childhood education students)

  • Read to Children: In the same classrooms as the Classroom Helper, only without other responsibilities, and is focused on reading alone. Recommended for those who are under time restraints. (Recommended for Early Childhood education students and those who share a love for reading)

  • Special Friend: Visit with a disabled individual on a regular basis. Once a week or once a month, visiting their home and sharing dinner, take them out on the town, rent a movie and order pizza, or any other ideas a volunteer might have for a fun and connected time.

  • Tutor: Spend one hour per week tutoring a person with their reading skills.

  • Maintenance Support: Assist Maintenance Department with various cleanup, repair, renovation, and lawn jobs in and around Cardinal Center buildings.

  • General office Support: Basic office support, including copying, filing, shredding, typing, specially assigned projects.

The Cardinal Center also runs annual events and fundraisers that require volunteer help as well as community participation in order to make them successful.

  • Tootsie Roll Fun Drive: One Friday/Saturday in May. Join a hundred other volunteers as spare change is collected for Cardinal Center programs. Consists of standing on a street corner/storefront collecting money for the Center and handing out Tootsie Rolls. In years past, as much as $16,000 has been raised.
  • Duck Races: Occurring in July, racing rubber ducks that have been bought and collected throughout the year at other events and staff locations. Volunteers sell ducks that are “raced” in July, or parade around in a duck costume in order to visit with children and individuals as well as promote the event. As much as $80,000 has been raised in the past.

  • Kids on the Block Puppets: Join a puppet team to perform for small children in after-school programs and elementary school. The puppets teach about disabilities and help children understand why other children are different as well as that everyone should be treated the same and with respect, despite those differences.

The Cardinal Center asks that continuing volunteers that are within close proximity to individuas involved for an extended period of time undergo:

  • Background check that includes criminal records, etc.
  • TB test
  • Drug screening (provided)

Important Information about the Opportunity:
Students must note that some of these opportunities and positions are time consuming and require a heavy commitment. However, many of the earlier listed opportunities are recommended for those that have limited time and cannot make a formal commitment.

For more information, please contact:

Michelle Boxell
(574) 267 – 3823 ext. 1387

504 North Bay drive
Warsaw, IN 46580

Or visit The Cardinal Center's homepage.

If you ever have any questions or suggestions about volunteer opportunities, please feel free to contact the Manchester University Office of Volunteer Services: ovs@manchester.edu.