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Volunteers Needed

By: Amanda Humes
By: Amanda Humes

Volunteers are hard to find. John Foster, President and CEO of Hospice Brazos Valley, knows that well. The group has to regroup after the loss of about 40 volunteers every week.

"Their help was like having two full-time additional employees. Anything we would ask them to do, they would tackle it," said Foster.

Women in Bryan's boot camp used volunteering to help build self esteem and develop the skills needed for a smooth transition back into society. Foster says the women helped Hospice in many different ways.

"They cut grass, they pruned trees, they hung dry wall, they sanded, they painted, they hauled out trash," said Foster.

The Brazos Food Bank also benefited from the women's services. A group of volunteers would come twice a week and sort food for quality control.

"Their group was the only group that we could rely on to come back over and over and didn't have to be retrained. They worked really, really hard and got a lot of work done for us," says Theresa Mangapora, Brazos Food Bank's Executive Director.

Now Hospice and the Brazos Food Bank have had to look elsewhere for helping hands. The boot camp will no longer exist later this month which puts some groups in a bind.

Women in the boot camp also helped Habitat for Humanity and the organization says it will struggle to find volunteers to help build houses this summer.

The groups helped by the boot camp say they're sad to see the program go. Not only because of the help it provided them, but also because of the help it has provided the women.

"I feel deeply sorry for the ladies. They came here and they were affiliated with something that had value. We value life, we value family. They felt good about being around us and they always demonstrated that," said Foster.

Boot camp inmates will complete the rest of the program by May 6. Boot camp employees will be able to transfer within the federal prison system.


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