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Vision Loss Resources Volunteer News, August 2018


 A Quote for the Month

“The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.” – Helen Keller

Important: Report Your Monthly Hours!

Every month please go to this reporting page and follow the link to print your own timesheet.  You may also email or call Jen at 612-843-2583 and leave a message with your hours. Please turn in mileage in a timely manner. Mileage submitted after 3 months will no longer be eligible for reimbursement. Thank you for understanding.

Technology Volunteer Needed!

We are looking for a volunteer to help with technology classes by assisting with troubleshooting and answering technology questions during class.  Ideally this volunteer will have vision loss themselves so they can relate to the questions from the class participants.  Tech classes are every Tuesday from 10am-12pm in our St. Paul office (on the second Tuesday of the month, the class is in our Minneapolis office).  Please contact Jen at 612-843-2583 if interested.


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

8/1      Supper Club            5pm-7pm                   The Neighborhood Café                3 volunteers

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!

8/3       Walker & Sculpture Garden        12:30-2:30     Walker Art Center                15 volunteers     volunteers especially needed!

Help escort and provide sighted guide to clients as we go on a special guided tour through the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

8/6      Game Day                10:00-12:00               VLR in Minneapolis                         2 volunteers

Lively fun with board and trivia games.  Laughter, conversation, and snacks included!

8/8       BINGO!                      5:00-7:00                   VLR in Minneapolis                         2 volunteers

Everybody loves BINGO!

8/13    Walking Group       9:00-11:30        Door 13, Southdale Mall, Edina            3 volunteers

Partner up with a visually-impaired individual and get some light exercise. We walk the mall for an hour, stop for coffee and conversation, and then walk for another hour.

8/15    Fantasy Football Draft      3:00-6:00                   VLR in Saint Paul                2 volunteers     volunteers especially needed!

Join us for a fun time picking teams for the 4th annual VLR Fantasy Football Draft.  Help clients by reading information and selecting players for their teams.  Pizza and drinks will be served.

8/24    Pottery                      10:00-12:00               VLR in Saint Paul                            2 volunteers

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

8/27    MN State Fair           9:30-3:00                               Loop Gate 9                          15 volunteers     volunteers especially needed!

An annual favorite event! Be one of the thousands that gather to try the new food-on-a-stick at the Minnesota State Fair while being partnered with a visually-impaired participant. Walk around and enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds as you provide Sighted Guide. VLR will reimburse you mileage and $15 towards your food when you turn in your hours and receipts!

Address: 1700 Como Ave, (Horseshoe, north side of Como Ave) St. Paul, 55414


We have a list of people waiting for volunteers for the following Reader and Shopper roles in the Twin Cities.  Volunteers assist clients with household reading and paperwork and with grocery 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. Can you help?

Participant Location: Volunteer Role Needed:
Bloomington Shopper & Reader
Bloomington Reader
Chanhassen Reader
Eagan Shopper & Reader
Lake Elmo Reader
Maplewood Reader
Minnehaha/Lake Area Shopper
Richfield Shopper & Reader
Roseville Shopper & Reader
Roseville Shopper
Shoreview Reader & Walking
South St. Paul Shopper
St. Paul/East Midway Reader
St. Paul/Riverview Area Shopper
St. Paul/Summit-University Area Reader
Stillwater Shopper & Reader



Vision Loss Resources is here to help!

Call us at 612-871-2222 to learn more about affordable services, including: a free Initial Visit with comprehensive, professional evaluation and resources, recommendations on lighting and adaptive equipment, continued instruction on adaptive techniques for living independently, and digital literacy classes for older adults. We also have a vibrant Community Center, Support Groups, Independent Living Skills Course, and Peer Mentoring services. We do not require a doctor’s referral, health insurance, or a specific diagnosis.  We serve anyone in the 9-county metro area whose vision loss impacts their ability to perform the activities they need or want to do. Call us for more info!


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

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!

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

Who is eligible?

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?

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. Please turn in mileage in a timely manner. Mileage submitted after 3 months will no longer be eligible for reimbursement. Thank you for understanding.

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?

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.  This policy reduces administrative costs.

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

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).

How do I turn in my Volunteer Hours every month?

You may turn in your hours by sending a quick email to, calling, or by printing and mailing a timesheet (available at We appreciate receiving hours for reporting to our grants and annual reporting! Please turn them in by the 5th of the month!