Do you love butterflies?

If you would like to work with butterflies, the Churchville Nature Center Butterfly House is looking for you.

In this volunteer position you may put in as many or as few hours as you prefer. Available positions include raising or feeding the butterfly caterpillars, watering and pruning the plants in the butterfly house, and helping lead tours of the Butterfly House when it is open to the public. The Butterfly House will open for volunteers in the spring, and remain open until the end of September.

Some butterfly knowledge is preferred but CNC is happy to train. For more information, contact Stommy Blauth at butterfliesandmoths@comcast.net.

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Volunteer at Bucks County Audubon Society

Do you like the outdoors? Do you believe in conserving our natural environment?  Do you want to make a difference with like-minded naturalists? If so, Bucks County Audubon Society (BCAS) needs you!

BCAS promotes environmental education, the demonstration of energy and resource conservation and advocacy for local, state and national policies that support sustainability of the natural world. BCAS is a non-profit organization founded as an independent chapter of the National Audubon Society in 1969 and is dedicated to educating and engaging the community about the interrelationships of birds and the environment amidst the beautiful and protected National Historic Landmark, known as the Honey Hollow Watershed.

Volunteers are needed in several areas: being a greeter at Honey Hollow Environmental Education Center; light data entry and help with special mailings; staffing registration tables for special events such as the Messages in Nature Art Exhibition, Cycling for BCAS, and Art of the Barn Tour and Show; capturing photographs of events and nature program staffing; trail trimming; and light carpentry or repair work. Call BCAS at 215-297-5880 for more details. Lend a hand for a few hours or on a regular basis (weekday or weekend help is greatly appreciated). BCAS is located at 2877 Creamery Road in Solebury Township.

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Volunteers needed for Five Mile Woods

Learn about nature and enjoy the out-of-doors while helping to maintain a 300-acre nature preserve located in Lower Makefield Township. Five Mile Woods is looking for volunteers to help keep the Woods looking good. Join the Friends of Five Mile Woods on the second Saturday of each month to do a variety of jobs including pruning, litter pick-up, and trail lining and building projects.

Upcoming workdays are on the following Saturdays: April 12th, May 10th and June 14th. Workdays start at 9:00am and last until noon. Wear clothes and shoes that can get dirty.

Five Mile Woods is located at 1305 Big Oak Road near the Kohl’s Shopping Center. Meet at the Woods Headquarters Building. 

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Morrisville Riverfront Preserve needs volunteers

In 2010, Morrisville Borough created the Morrisville Riverfront Preserve by preserving and undertaking restoration of 8.8 acres of land along the Delaware River. This waterfront spot will be maintained as a natural preserve to maximize ecological assets and provide public passive recreation. It is a wonderful place to walk, fish, bird watch or wile away some time.

The first two years were devoted to developing a management plan, treating the site with herbicides, and seeding with native plants and grasses. Since then we have planted 269 trees, 50 shrubs, 105 perennials, removed large amounts of dumped material, improved the southern entryway, started a milkweed patch for monarch butterflies, done preliminary trail work, and installed informational signage. 

For 2014, funding has been secured for additional tree plantings, and access improvements are planned.  There is still much to be done.

The Morrisville Environmental Advisory Council is seeking volunteers to help with projects at the Preserve:

  • Clean ups;
  • Regular trail clearing and maintenance;
  • Monthly weed patrol and spot eradication of invasive plants;
  • Miscellaneous projects to enhance and encourage use of the Preserve.
  • Writers, financial specialists, artists, naturalists, fishermen, educators, photographers, outreach coordinators, historians, and others – your help can be used. 

Many hands make light work, much can get done when everyone pitches in. Morrisville is fortunate to have such an accessible and appealing riverfront. This is a great opportunity for residents to connect to the river, as well as help the environment and our Borough. Having some muscle will help with some projects, but all levels of ability are needed. Help continue the important progress made at the Morrisville Riverfront Preserve.

For more detailed information about the Preserve or to volunteer, contact Debby Colgan at 609-954-5360 or debbycolgan@verizon.net.

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Volunteer drivers needed

Family Service Association of Bucks County’s Food Pantry and Homeless Shelter needs help getting prepared food donations to those who need them most! Volunteer drivers are needed to pick up donations on a weekly basis in Central and Lower Bucks County and deliver them to the food pantry in Langhorne and the Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter in Levittown.

If you can help, contact Ellen Vinson at volunteer@fsabc.org or 215-757-6916, ext. 202.

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Volunteers: Register for NOVA’s free crisis volunteer training

If you’ve ever wanted to get involved in giving back to your community, Network of Victim Assistance has opened registration for its upcoming free training for volunteers on the 24-Hour Crisis Hotline it operates. To register, call Julie Dugery, Coordinator of Volunteers and Community Outreach, at 215.343.6543, or e-mail JulieD@NOVABucks.org.

The seven-week, 45-hour specialized training qualifies participants to volunteer, answering crisis calls on the hotline and providing an important service to victims of sexual assault, stalking, physical abuse, elder abuse and other serious crimes in Bucks County. Crisis Hotline volunteers take calls during evening and weekend hours; flexible shifts of two, four or six hours per week are available.

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Opportunity Council celebrates 10 years of free tax prep: Volunteers needed

The Bucks County Opportunity Council Buck$Back Program marked 10 years providing free income tax preparation services on February 1st with the opening of three tax preparation sites throughout Bucks County. Volunteers are needed for the 2014 tax season to work directly with people who need help preparing their tax returns.

Since 2004, Buck$Back volunteers have helped prepare more than 7,000 income tax returns for low-to-moderate-income taxpayers, providing a value of $12.2 million in refunds, credits and fee savings. The volunteers assist hard-working, motivated families and individuals to obtain crucial refunds that can be used to reduce debt, start a savings account, go back to school, or pay for reliable transportation.


Linda Price, a long-time Buck$Back volunteer, enjoys making life a little easier for people struggling in hard times.
“Helping people who are trying so hard to help themselves is the biggest part of what we [volunteers] do,” said Linda. Don’t know that much about taxes? Don’t worry. Training is free and available in person or online. The program needs greeters, tax preparers, quality reviewers and phone schedulers. Retired or practicing tax professionals, college students and individuals with no prior tax-preparation experience who complete the training program are welcome. Become one of nearly 99,000 volunteers nationwide who helped people in their community file their tax returns. 
“You think, wow, it’s really great. I was really able to make that person’s day,” Linda said. “I encourage anyone who maybe doesn’t fit in a normal volunteer niche to consider something like this.”

Buck$Back is a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program administered by the Opportunity Council with funding support from the Bucks County Foundation in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service.
 Sites are located in Lower, Central and Upper Bucks through partnerships with Foxwood Apartments in Levittown, St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Warminster, and the Gathering Pointe Community Center in Perkasie.
 For specific information about volunteering for the program, visit www.bcoc.org and click Buck$Back, or call 215-345-8175 x209. 

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Good Neighbor Profile: Phyllis Brown, Volunteer at MSD 21st Century Community Learning Centers

by June Portnoy

For the past eight years, Phyllis Brown of Lower Makefield has been a volunteer tutor for Morrisville School District 21st Century Community Learning Centers. This non-profit organization provides academic enrichment, such as tutoring and mentoring, for several area schools and programs.

Elizabeth Sullivan, Volunteer Coordinator of 21st Century, nominated Phyllis for Times Publishing Newspaper’s Good Neighbor recognition because of her exemplary volunteer service at Grandview Elementary School in Morrisville.

Phyllis has been volunteering consistently and continuously at Grandview through its partnership with 21st Century almost since the program’s inception. However, it was not solely the longevity of Phyllis’s volunteer work that motivated Elizabeth to nominate her, but more importantly, Phyllis’s dedication to the students she tutors, the teachers she assists, and to 21st Century, making her a role model to other volunteers in the program.

For the past three years, Phyllis has tutored first grade students in reading in Mrs. Marlin-Peroni’s class. She works with six students in a small group setting.

Says Elizabeth, “You know you have a good volunteer when a teacher calls you the end of each summer, requesting that a volunteer returns for the September school year,” which has been the case since Phyllis began volunteering.

Both Elizabeth and Mrs. Marlin-Peroni agree that Phyllis has helped students at Grandview thrive. 

“The students look forward to Tuesdays, knowing that’s the day Phyllis comes to work with them on a weekly basis,” adds Elizabeth. “She brings an uplifting and positive energy to the classroom that’s contagious to all around her.”

In addition to working with the first graders, this year Phyllis also tutors two second-graders in reading. In the past, she has also tutored students in math and has worked one-on-one teaching reading.

Phyllis, a retired schoolteacher, brings close to 40 years of teaching experience to the students she tutors. During her teaching career, she taught primarily at Pennsbury High School as a Family and Consumer Development teacher.

“Part of my job required placing and overseeing my students in elementary schools, so I am very comfortable working in an elementary school setting,” says Phyllis.

After retiring in 1999, Phyllis wanted to continue helping to educate children, and working at 21st Century has given her that opportunity. 

“Many of the kids Phyllis has worked with over the years need some additional help, and she offers that assistance by providing them positive reinforcement without critiquing them,” explains Elizabeth. “By giving them the extra time and attention they need in a smaller, personal setting, it enables the teachers to work with other kids, so everyone benefits.”

Says Phyllis, “I try to make these students feel comfortable with what they are reading. I give them a chance to share their ideas and help them with their reading skills and comprehension. For those students who are reading well, I attempt to take them to the next level.”

“Phyllis needs little direction and helps reinforce what the teachers are emphasizing in class,” says Elizabeth. “She is so flexible, always willing to help out where teachers need her the most.

These teachers have come to rely on Phyllis because of her commitment to these students. Also, she is so dependable that teachers know that they can count on her to show up on time every week when expected.”

By coming to Grandview every week for so many years, Phyllis enjoys feeling like a part of this school.       

“Working with these kids gives me a sense of accomplishment as I watch their reading improve,” says Phyllis. “Since I am so much older than they are, I look at this opportunity as a great intergenerational experience. I give these kids another way of looking at their world and comprehending information. Also, it’s so rewarding knowing they are as excited to see me each week as I am to see them.”

There are currently 150 volunteers serving 21st Century during the school year, helping out at the School District of Borough of Morrisville, Holy Trinity in Morrisville, Center for Student Learning in Levittown, Bucks County Technical High School in Fairless Hills and Pennsbury School District’s Twilight Program.

“When I talk to new volunteers, I talk about Phyllis to illustrate how a volunteer can instill the love of learning in children and take a genuine interest in helping students improve academically,” says Elizabeth. “Phyllis meets our organization’s objectives of offering more academic opportunities to this community.”

If you’d like to become a volunteer at 21st Century, contact Elizabeth Sullivan, Volunteer Coordinator, at 215-428-0500 ext. 105, or via e-mail at Volunteer@mv21stCCLC.org.

PHOTO CAP: Phyllis Brown

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Bucks County Family Friends

The mission of the Bucks County Family Friends program is to foster nurturing relationships whereby older adult volunteers provide companionship, respite and support to children with special needs and their families. You can work your entire life and wonder whether you’ve made a difference. Bucks County Family Friends make a difference in just a few hours a week.

  • People of any age can apply their experience and skills to Family Friends in many different ways: being a volunteer to a family, joining an advisory council, gathering resource materials, raising funds or recruitment.
  • Family Friends receive startup and ongoing training, support from experienced staff, recognition, liability insurance, and the chance to interact with like-minded, caring and committed people.
  • Skilled program staff will match individuals’ talents, interests, and availability with a volunteer role that fits.
  • Persons may participate individually or on a team.
  • Schedules are flexible to meet everyone’s needs.

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Habitat for Humanity of Bucks County

The mission of Habitat Bucks is to “Build affordable homes, better lives, stronger families, and safer revitalized communities through partnerships with people and organizations throughout Bucks County.”

Affordable homes – Habitat builds decent, safe, affordable homes by building partnerships with families, volunteers and donors.  Habitat Bucks uses green building practices and is building Energy Star Rated homes to insure low operating costs for future homeowners. This year, Habitat Bucks will build its 100th home! 

A Brush with Kindness – An exterior home preservation program that provides painting, landscaping and minor repair services for low-income homeowners affected by age, disability or family circumstances and struggling to maintain the exterior of their homes.

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