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Vision Loss Resources Volunteer News, July 2018


 A Quote for the Month

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”

– H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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.


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

7/2      Game Day                10:00-12:00               VLR in Minneapolis                        2 volunteers

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

7/7       West Side Story     12:15-4:15                 Guthrie Theater                                3 volunteers (Volunteers especially needed for this activity!)

Help escort and provide sighted guide to clients at the Guthrie’s production of West Side Story.  The performance starts at 1pm, but clients will need help before it starts picking up AD equipment and finding their seats. VLR will cover the cost of your ticket and will also reimburse for parking with a receipt.

7/9       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.

7/11    BINGO!                      5:00-7:00                   VLR in Minneapolis                         2 volunteers

Everybody loves BINGO!

7/17    Lunch Bunch          11:30-1:30     Augustine’s Bar & Bakery                           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!

7/20    Pottery                      10:00-12:00               VLR in Saint Paul                            2 volunteers

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


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
Bloomington Shopper
Chanhassen Reader
Eagan Shopper & Reader
Lake Elmo Reader
Maplewood Reader
Minnehaha/Lake Area Shopper
Mound Shopper & Reader
Richfield Shopper & Reader
Roseville Shopper & Reader
Roseville Shopper
Shoreview Reader & Walking
South St. Paul Shopper
St. Paul/Riverview Area Shopper
St. Paul/Summit-University Area Reader
Stillwater Shopper & Reader


Meet Mark, one of our long-term volunteers at Vision Loss Resources.  Mark has been a VLR volunteer for almost six years.  He helps one of our clients as a Reading Volunteer and also volunteers at numerous Community Center activities throughout the year.

Thank you Mark for all that you do to support VLR and our clients!

Mark (far left) enjoying a Twins’ game with a couple of our clients.

Mark (far left) enjoying a Twins’ game with a couple of our clients.

Your volunteer role at VLR:

I read and write checks monthly for my client. I also help escort people with low vision at monthly VLR events.

A little bit about you (family, pets, hobbies, etc.):

My wife, Lin, and I have been married for 34 years in August.I’m retired from the Air Force Reserve after 24 years. We have two adult children that live near us in Bloomington. I try to walk 5-6 days weekly. I also volunteer monthly with AARP and at the Minneapolis Veterans Home.  My favorite sport to watch is baseball.

What is your favorite thing about volunteering at VLR?

Helping my client, Valerie, every month keeps me excited about volunteering at VLR. I also like meeting the different people at the events in the Twin Cities.

How has volunteering with VLR impacted you?

I suffered some sight loss in 2011 that made me retire. That made me examine what happened to me and how I could help people in my situation. I found VLR and I’m glad I did.

What has been the biggest surprise volunteering at VLR?

The mostly positive outlook of the people with low-vision that I have met and helped out.

Do you have any advice for other VLR volunteers?

Get more of your family and friends to volunteer and help out at VLR.


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!