Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. Over 500 volunteers; volunteer tens of thousands of man-hours in just the upper one-third of the State of Ohio alone. Under the charter of the USO of Northern Ohio volunteers can be seen at community events in Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Youngstown, Toledo and other communities in our 29 county region.
The most important work that our volunteers do is provide direct comfort to the Armed Forces members from our area, in other words, our Neighbors. Volunteers provide refreshments at unit deployments and/or homecomings, serve beverages and snacks at USO run canteens and lounges. These are the personal touches that boost morale and fortify the feeling that our defenders of freedom are supported on the home front by the public.
A lot of the tasks the volunteers are responsible for depends on the function or program they are staffing. Below is a brief description of those tasks;
Outreach and Family Care is a diverse, all encompassing program that opens up a wide variety of possible services and tasks. Outreach targets local families who have a mother or father who is forwardly deployed so serving them might mean delivering relief baskets to their homes during the holidays, or maybe it’s serving or bussing tables during a unit party. Volunteers could man the grill at a unit picnic in the summer. There’s no website big enough to fit all of the possible services in our Outreach and Family Care Program, therefore there is no way of listing all the things that volunteers can do for local service families in need.
In the Canteen at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) the Volunteers supply refreshments and snacks to applicants and their families. Volunteers also distribute USO literature introducing the recruits to the many programs available to them while they are serving.
In The USO Bob Hope Lounge the volunteers greet and comfort traveling military personnel and their families while providing an assortment of services. Sometimes, to a weary trooper, they just fill the role of the alarm clock so they can meet their boarding time.
At Special Events volunteers provide staffing in booths to accept donations from the community. USO literature is passed out, telling the public of our services and showing how the donations are spent. That lets everyone know that the USO is still efficiently accomplishing our mission of
“Serving Our Neighbors Who Are Serving Our Country”.