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Vision Loss Resources Volunteer News, September 2016


Moonstruck! Golf Tournament – A Fundraiser for Vision Loss Resources!

Sponsored by the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights Rotary Club
A moonlight charity golf tournament to celebrate the visionary programming of Vision Loss Resources!

When: Friday, September 9, 2016
Where: Southview Country Club in West St. Paul
239 Mendota Rd E, St Paul, MN 55118

We need volunteers for the following shifts.
If you are able to sign up for both shifts, that would be great!

Shift 1 – 4:00-7:30pm (dinner served to volunteers at 6pm)
Task: activities in the clubhouse
Volunteers needed: 6

Shift 2 – 8:00-11:00pm
Task: activities at the holes
Volunteers needed: 6

10th Annual Twin Cities 5K VisionWalk

Join Foundation Fighting Blindness on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at beautiful Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, for the 10th Annual Twin Cities VisionWalk.  Join VLR’s walking team! In addition to the 5K walk, this family-friendly event includes a ton of FUN activities: bounce house, face painter, DJ to rock out to, food, and so much more! We want to break the 2015 attendance record of 1,200 walkers. Help us do that and raise money for research too!

When: Sunday, September 25, 2016
Where: Lake Harriet Band Shell – 4135 E Lake Harriet Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Registration Starts:  8:30am
Walk Starts:  10:30am

For more information, or to volunteer, contact Lori Quinn at or call 847-680-0100. To register for a team or start a new team, go to


Labor Day – VLR Offices will be closed on Monday, September 5 for Labor Day.

Earn Money While Helping Others

Are you 55 years or older and want to help an elder in the community by lending a hand or a listening ear?  Would you like to supplement your retirement income?  The Senior Companion Program works with Vision Loss Resources to assist elders with shopping, appointments, errands, playing games/cards or with reading & mail help.  Senior Companions do not provide any nursing, housekeeping, or handyman type services.  If you are an adult 55 years or older and can serve 15 hours a week or more, you can receive tax-free reimbursement, travel costs, and insurance coverage.  Volunteers keep a flexible schedule with plenty of time off.  For more information, contact Kate Neuhaus at 651-310-9447 or at


Can you help? We have a list of people waiting for volunteers for the following roles.  If you are available, please call 612-871-2222 and ask for our Volunteer Coordinator or email!


Participant Location: Volunteer Role Needed:
Burnsville Reader
Richfield Reader & Shopper
Downtown Minneapolis Reader
New Hope Shopper
Bloomington Reader
Maplewood Reader & Shopper
St. Paul/Lake Phalen area Shopper
Minneapolis/Powderhorn area Reader
Richfield Reader



We have a full calendar of outings and activities.  Can you help?  Please call or email  Many activities fill up rapidly!

9/6      Game Day              10:00-12:00             VLR in Minneapolis                      2 volunteers

(Changed to Tuesday due to Labor Day.) Lively fun with board and trivia games.  Laughter, conversation, and snacks included!

9/12    Walking Group      9:00-11:30              Door 13, Southdale Mall              6 volunteers

Partners walk the mall for an hour, stop for coffee and conversation, and then walk for another hour.

9/14    BINGO!                   5:00-7:00                 VLR in Minneapolis                       2 volunteers

Everybody loves BINGO!  Help by guiding participants, handing out cards, and distributing prizes!

9/19    Wabasha Street Caves Tour      4:00-5:00      Saint Paul                           8 volunteers

Help guide participants during a 45 minute walking historical tour of the Wabasha Street Caves. We will explore the original mined caves and the finished caves. Hear the legends of the mobster massacres and ghostly lore in the most unique setting from Chicago to San Francisco. Volunteers especially needed!

9/20   Lunch Bunch      11:30-1:30.        Big Bowl, Galleria, Edina                                 3 volunteers

Authentic Thai and Chinese cuisine. Read the menu aloud to participants, help with seating, and enjoy some tasty food. Please save your receipt and send it in when you report your hours.  VLR will reimburse you $10 towards your meal when you turn in your hours and receipt!

9/23    Pottery                   10:00-12:00             VLR in Saint Paul                         2 volunteers

Help participants create hand-built pottery items. No experience is necessary.

9/30   Tea Tasting at TeaSource    1:00-2:30              Saint Anthony          8 volunteers

Join us for an educational and fun tea tasting at TeaSource in St. Anthony. We will sample a variety of teas and learn all about tea from these experts. Volunteers especially needed!



We have opportunities to work with clients in many parts of the Twin Cities.  Volunteers assist clients with household reading and paperwork and with shopping or errands.  This is a personal way to make a big impact on someone’s independence.  Volunteers set their own schedule and work on an on-going basis with the same person.  This is an important way to make a connection with your community.  Opportunities are available across the Twin Cities.

Can you help?


The following events are not affiliated with VLR, but may be of interest to our volunteers and community!

The Show Gallery in Lowertown/Saint Paul Saints – Support The Show Gallery Lowertown–a nonprofit art organization dedicated to exhibiting works by artists from all walks of life with and without disabilities–with your ticket to see the St. Paul Saints vs the Winnipeg Goldeyes! Feel free to tailgate while you support a great cause. All proceeds go to The Show Gallery Lowertown, a non-profit art space.

When: September 1st at 7:05

Where: CHS Field (Voted best design and most accessible!)

Cost: Outfield reserved for only $10 each. If you buy 25 tickets or more they are $8.00 each. (Seats are first come first serve)

How: Go online to and pick up at ‘will call’ ticket office day of game. Or contact Winna at to buy tickets in person. For more information on our exhibitions, gift shop, classes, calls for art, or to volunteer go to our website

Blind Ice Hockey Program in Minnesota –

Be a part of a new program being developed for hockey for the visually-impaired. For more information, contact Antonia Gillen, USA Disabled Hockey Director- Minnesota District.  Email or call 651-307-0660



Q: I have a friend, family member, or colleague who may be interested in volunteering. How do I get them started?

A: Ask them to contact us!  Email or call 612-871-2222. We’ll get them started with the application process and get them matched with a participant or activity!


Q: What is Volunteer Reimbursement for Mileage & Transportation Expenses all about?

Who is eligible?

A: Vision Loss Resources Volunteers are eligible for mileage reimbursement.  Volunteers who use Metro Mobility or other mass transit to travel to and from their volunteer assignment are also eligible to request reimbursement.

What is eligible?

A: Your mileage reimbursement request must be part of an active volunteer assignment.  When you report your volunteer hours, indicate your round-trip miles or mass transit costs to and from your volunteer assignment.  Other expenses may be eligible for reimbursement.  For example, if you join your client for an occasional coffee or snack, you can request reimbursement.  Please ask if you are unsure.  You will be requested to submit receipts.

Policy for Meal Reimbursement

In an effort to create a more sustainable Community Center and Volunteer Program, volunteers will be responsible for paying for their own meal at an activity (i.e. at Lunch Bunch, Supper Club, etc.).  Please save your receipt and send it in when you report your hours.  VLR will reimburse you $10 towards your meal!


When will I receive reimbursement?

A: Reimbursement checks are requested each month, the second week of the month.  (Volunteer hours are requested by the 5th day of the month.)  Checks are usually prepared and mailed the 3rd week of each month.  Please note: VLR’s Business Office prepares checks in rotation with payroll and other expenses.  This schedule is subject to change.  Additionally, reimbursement requests for less than $10.00 will be held until either the total request is greater than $10.00 or until the following month.  This policy reduces administrative costs.

If I’m coming to VLR, where do I park?

A: Minneapolis office: we have two parking lots available. The larger “lower lot” nearest to Lyndale is the closest to our front door.  Due to the nature of the intersection on Franklin & Lyndale, if you are coming from south on Lyndale, take a left on Franklin (westbound) and take the first right on Aldrich Ave S.  Follow to the end of the street and continue to the right down the hill to our lower lot.

Saint Paul office: For those parking, being dropped off, or needing an accessible ramp at our Saint Paul office, please use the back entrance (215 Starkey Ave).

I know someone who may need services provided by Vision Loss Resources. How do I help get them started?

A: Wonderful! Please have them call our main line (612-871-2222), where they will be directed to schedule an In-Home Assessment. One of our Community Service Specialist will get in touch with them to schedule this appointment, which takes about an hour and can be scheduled at the participant’s home or in one of our offices.  From there, they can have any questions answered, learn about available resources, receive useful items and get connected with VLR services that may be helpful to them – Volunteers, Community Center activities, Support Groups, Living with Vision Loss Training, and more!


1936 Lyndale Avenue South

Minneapolis, MN  55403

(612) 871-2222

216 South Wabasha Street

St. Paul, MN  55107

(651) 224-7662


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