The YMCA in Battle Creek, Michigan was surprised when they received a phone call with an unusual offer.

Severely underfunded for their community program to provide literacy and adult education, YMCA program coordinator, Nicole Way, had no idea a local employer would pay for one of their employees to volunteer their time.  This resulted in a great opportunity for the YMCA and helped an injured employee who was unable to return to her regular job temporarily while recovering from a shoulder injury.

Ms. Smith* worked as a bus driver for a local school when she was injured on the job. Her shoulder injury prevented her from lifting over 5 pounds and performing overhead work but she was able to stay active during her light duty medical release through the Transition2Work Program offered by the employer.  The program matches injured workers on workers’ compensation to local nonprofits in need of volunteers. Ms. Smith’s assignment utilizes her talents for the community.

Nicole Way, program coordinator, tells us, “Her duties still include mostly clerical work, organizing academic resources, and researching new and effective ways to work with lower level adult readers. She has been working as a tutor/mentor with our students in the areas of Reading/Writing to help them prepare for GED testing. Ms. Smith is very pleasant and utilizes every minute she’s here with productivity. She has been a blessing.”

The program would not work without reliable and consistent volunteers. Nicole appreciates the volunteers in the Transition2Work program because their participation is an extension of their employment; which means they are motivated to treat the volunteer assignment as a job. “Ms. Smith has been very dependable from the beginning…Thank you again for this opportunity, and we would love to continue to partner with your agency/program in the future.”

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