Keep skills current, give back to community

Emily Jennings/Herald Union file
Sarah Graham (left), military spouse, gets information on volunteering from Grace Lauer, Wiesbaden Community Spouses’ Club Thrift Shop manager, during a volunteer fair Feb. 22 at the Exchange on Hainerberg. People interested in volunteering should contact ACS or the organization they want to volunteer with and register with Army OneSource.

People with a desire to volunteer have a variety of opportunities at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden to help others, give back to the community, make social connections or keep their job skills current.

Whatever the reason for volunteering may be, there is something for everybody, said Mary Cheney, volunteer coordinator with Army Community Service. “It’s limitless where people can volunteer,” she said.

A good first step is to sign up through Army OneSource at It’s important for volunteers to sign up and log their hours in Army OneSource, because all volunteer work goes onto the record and is kept there as people move from one station to another, Cheney said. It helps to have this record when applying for jobs, and it travels with the volunteer.

Call ACS at (0611)143-548-9202 or stop by Bldg. 7790 on Hainerberg for more information.

People interested in volunteering with the American Red Cross Wiesbaden must attend a volunteer orientation, said Frances Salas, field office coordinator. They are offered the second Wednesday of every month at 11:30 a.m. at the Red Cross office in Bldg. 1201. Interested volunteers can call or email to make an appointment for orientation, which takes about an hour. During the class, they learn about the organization and the volunteer positions the Red Cross offers.

Many medical professionals must complete a certain number of hours of work to keep certifications active. If they come to Wiesbaden as a spouse and aren’t able to find a job opening a good alternative to keep their certifications active is to become a medical volunteer with the Red Cross, Salas said.

“We are the only organization that works with the clinic to help place volunteers as medical professionals,” she said. “We have a lot of volunteers that come to us that want to keep certifications up to date with hours, and we work with the clinic to help place them there.”

Volunteers also serve as blood drive coordinators, special event coordinators, in administrative positions, community education and the resiliency program, Salas said.

For more information, contact the Red Cross at, (0611)143-548-1760 or follow them on Facebook under American Red Cross Wiesbaden.

The 66th Military Intelligence Brigade has volunteers through its Family readiness group. The FRG offers opportunities to volunteer in areas such as fundraising, spouse and Soldier support, newsletters, community outreach, newcomer briefings and unit organizational days.

Upcoming events are posted on their Facebook page under 66th Military Intelligence Brigade.

“Volunteering opens a doorway to support your community and provides a fundamental source of joy for both the volunteer and those receiving the service or the assistance,” said Merelle Rodriguez, Family readiness support assistant for the 66th MI Bde.

The Wiesbaden Community Spouses’ Club Thrift Shop is another place people can volunteer their time. Volunteers can work as little as one hour and train on the job for a variety of duties, said Grace Lauer, thrift shop manager.

“One thing I love about our volunteers is that I see these bonds built,” said Lauer, who said she’s seen friendships blossom between people who met at the thrift shop.

Volunteer hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. Check out their Facebook page, Wiesbaden Community Spouses’ Club Thrift Shop, for more information.

Volunteers interested in supporting the USO can go to and create a profile. There they will learn about the volunteer opportunities within the organization, which include sponsor cookouts, a back-to-school event, fundraisers, free food at events and social activities, such as baking, storytime, crafts and activities to keep Families involved, said Sue Swirko, USO volunteer.

“I really enjoy the people I work with and the people who come in,” she said. “I enjoy helping people. It makes me feel good; it makes them feel good; it’s a win-win.”