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WELCOME! Affirmations was built from the ground up on the strong shoulders of volunteers. Since 1989 we have remained committed to fostering community involvement through an active volunteer program. Volunteer opportunities span a variety of programs and categories; some of them are Gallery Ambassadors, Front Desk Volunteers, Group Facilitators, and Youth Advocates. They also assist with Pride season, The Spring Bash, the Helpline and a host of other positions and tasks to numerous to mention. Affirmations wouldn't be able to offer the programs and services it does without the thousands of volunteer hours donated by volunteers like you!

 Click here for an over view of the Affirmations Volunteer program. For more information, just drop by a New Volunteer Meeting, the dates are listed below or contact Mark McMillan, Facility and Volunteer Manager at (248) 398-7105. 

New Volunteer Meetings 
Attend a New Volunteer Meeting and learn about Affirmations' history, mission, vision and philosophy. Enjoy a guided tour of the facility, and hear about ways you can use your skills and passion to make a difference in the LGBTQ community. These meetings are strictly informational and provide an opportunity to answer questions, complete the application process and become more familiar with where you may fit with in the organization. No appointment necessary. 

If you are unsure which meeting you will be attending, simply drop in to any meeting that works best with your schedule. If you prefer, see below to get the process started on line. Keep in mind, our overall volunteer program is broad and ever changing, always adapting to the changes at the center. You are welcome to start the application process online, with the expectation that you will be attending an upcoming New Volunteer Meeting in the near future. See the link above for an overview of the volunteer program.

Upcoming New Volunteer Meetings

Saturday, December 13, 2014 10:30am-12:00pm 
(No meeting in December due to holiday season) 

Saturday January 10, 2015 10:30 am-12:00pm 
Thursday January 22, 2015 5:30pm-7:00pm

Saturday February 14, 2015 10:30am-12:00pm
Thursday February 26, 2015 5:30pm-7:00pm 

Online Survey Application
Affirmations strides to up hold it's mission of inclusion and acceptance. Our volunteer application is a little different than what you are used to in the standard job market. If you are ready to attend one of the upcoming New Volunteer Meetings above, you are welcome to start the application process here. Keep in mind, you will still be required to complete a Background check authorization form at the New Volunteer Meeting.


Some Training and Committee Opportunities

Youth Advocate Training
If you would like to volunteer in the newly expanded youth program hours from Monday to Saturday evenings (and/or other as needed events), then you need to become a Youth Advocate by successfully completing this training. This training will allow participants to assess personal comfort levels in interacting with youth; understand YEP policies and procedures; become familiar with the YEP space and activities; increase skills in building rapport with youth; and increase skills in re-framing conflict. This training are offered quarterly. Attendance is limited, so sign up early!! If you would like to attend this training – email Mark McMillan or call 248-398-7105

Facilitator Development Training

Learn to facilitate groups at Affirmations in this training on group and community communication. The Facilitator Development Training builds empathy and active listening skills to support personal growth and leadership development. Both new and existing facilitators are welcome. Cost is $25 for members; $35 for non-members. Training is held on two consecutive evenings and attendee must attend both sessions to receive a certificate of completion. 

Spring Bash Planning Committee
The Spring Bash, the center's annual black tie fundraiser, hosts the most prestigious members of the local Metro Detroit LGBT community and its allies, while changing venues yearly. Recently, the Spring Bash has been held at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel and the newly remodeled Cobo Arena. If you would like be involved with the 2015 Spring Bash Planning Committee, please contact the Affirmations' Event Coordinator, at 248-398-7105. 



Volunteer Spotlight - November 2014
Alice M.

Alice M. isn’t even sure when to begin to count her actual volunteer date for Affirmations. She describes how becoming a volunteer may have been in response to stepping up and asking for funding for several LGBT non-profits at the time. On August 23, 2000, Alice and another Ford GLOBE member sat down with the Ford Fund to request their support for several local LGBT nonprofits, including Affirmations, The HOPE Fund, and PFLAG/Detroit. The next day, Leslie Thompson, then CEO of Affirmations, contacted her to enlist Alice’s assistance in securing Ford sponsorship for the Affirmations’ fundraiser "Come OUT and Laugh". Ironically, Alice stated “We’ve already got the ball rolling!” Alice then secured funding for the event, with a $10K donation. However, if she wasn’t an “official” volunteer during that time, then she definitely became one when she was subsequently invited, interviewed, and selected to sit on the board of Affirmations in the late fall of 2000. Her very first meeting was Jan 24, 2001.

Alice says what she likes about volunteering is the idea of having a public building available to the community. “Having a GLBT community center is vitally important to me, so I am grateful to be able to assist in the growth and well-being of Affirmations." 

Alice describes a deeply personal experience which connects her to Affirmations through her volunteering experiences. When she was outed in 1969, she only knew one other gay person - her lover. There was no one to turn to for help or support, so having a safe space for other GLBT people is important to her. “When I hear others in the GLBT community talk about the importance of Affirmations to their acceptance of themselves, or their own growth and development in the community, then I feel thankful that some small thing I have done has positively impacted the lives of others, including those I may never meet,” she says. 

One of Alice’s cherished volunteer opportunities (she chooses on her own) is that each spring she organizes the Affirmations’ Senior Koffee Klatch to plant flowers on the sky deck. All materials and time are donated by those volunteers. “We love how beautiful the sky deck looks and hope others enjoy it too!” Alice exclaims.
When asked to talk about an interesting aspect of herself, Alice says that for most of her life, she was fairly physically active, for example, playing softball until she was 56! She credits the now defunct Stitchin’ group at Affirmations with finding her way back to some hand crafts that she learned about as a teenager; like sewing, knitting and crocheting. Over the last few years, Alice has knitted and donated over 100 ski hats for the Ruth Ellis Center.

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