Civic Engagement

OLLI’s Civic Engagement Committee seeks to identify, define and develop a sustainable plan of action which addresses signature social issues in Greater Asheville that engage and provide a significant volunteer experience among the OLLI membership community.

If you would like to learn more about getting involved, please contact OLLI at 828.251.6140 or olli@unca.edu.

Call to Action for Education

Starting in January 2013, the Civic Engagement Committee dedicated its efforts to improving education in three Asheville City Schools (Ira B. Jones Elementary, Asheville Middle School and Asheville High School) by supplying OLLI tutors, mentors, class assistants and special events helpers.

OLLI Call to Action

The CEC defines a “Call to Action” to meet a specific need in the community.

Mentor and student focused on homework.

The Civic Engagement Committee Call to Action for Education aims to improve the performance of students in Asheville City Schools.

Starting in January 2014, the CEC dedicated its Call to Action to improving education in three Asheville City Schools (Ira B. Jones Elementary, Asheville Middle School and Asheville High School) by supplying OLLI volunteer tutors, mentors, class assistants and special events helpers. Our volunteers work closely with the in-school Vista Volunteer Coordinators led by the Asheville City Schools Foundation.

In the fall of 2015, the Call to Action for Education was designated as the Civic Engagement Committee’s ‘Signature Project’. The OLLI mission has lifelong learning as its cornerstone.  Sending volunteers into the schools ensures that future generations developed a desire for lifelong learning.

The Asheville City Schools Foundation has stated that OLLI volunteers are uniquely qualified to be volunteer classroom assistants due to their intellect, reliability, flexibility and communication skills. The call to Action for Education continues to grow and in 2016 additional schools were added and volunteer opportunities expanded.

OLLI volunteers in the schools have derived a great deal of satisfaction and reward as part of our assistance:

  • “I love being with my kids. They make my whole day.”
  • “I know my work makes a difference in these kids’ lives.”
  • “Working with the staff at Asheville Middle School reinforces my faith in teachers. They are effective, inventive and open minded.”

New OLLI volunteers are always welcome. If you have an interest, email Civic Engagement Committee chairman Kathleen Mainardi, kkmainardi@gmail.com

In 2013, the Civic Engagement Committee chose the signature issue of Food Insecurity in Western North Carolina as our focus for the year. We hosted several symposia to inform and enlighten our OLLI members and that offered opportunities for meaningful volunteer service to help alleviate the hunger problem in our area.

Currently, two teams of OLLI volunteers contribute to monthly workdays at MANNA. Check back for future updates on opportunities related to food insecurity.

Call to Action for Housing and Homelessness

In September 2016, the Civic Engagement Committee launched a Call to Action for Housing and the Homeless.   The Committee partnered with three agencies addressing issues surrounding housing the the homeless. Many of the activities encourage teams of OLLI members to work together for a good cause.

ABCCM (Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministries) offers the following volunteer opportunities:
Veteran’s Restoration Quarters, Tunnel Road (cooks, drivers, life skills, arts and crafts)
Steadfast House (Women and Children) (same as above)
Medical Ministry ( opportunities for licensed doctors and nurses and administrative duties available)
https://www.abccm.org/

Habitat for Humanity offers the following for OLLI members:
ReStore – the Habitat for Humanity retail store
Assist with House Build
Home Repair

HOME

Homeward Bound has these options:
A-Hope Day Center- helping the homeless clients with picking up their mail, storing their belongings or making phone calls.
Newly Opened Donation Center – Elk Mt Road

Welcome

Please contact Kathleen Mainardi kkmainardi@gmail.com for more details

Get engaged….become involved.…receive satisfaction