Community Service Opportunities

Please find details regarding the Virtual Community Service Opportunities that I mentioned in Friday’s College and Career Updates Meeting.

Service Opportunity #1
Better Living For Seniors (BLFS) is a nonprofit association comprised of a diverse range of professionals serving Polk’s senior adult population. BLFS is looking for people of all ages to start NOW to create holiday cards that will be distributed to senior adults throughout the holidays. Thousands will be needed! This may be done at home while social distancing.

Project Requirements:
1. Cards can be the standard size, as typically sold in stores.
2. Envelopes are optional.
3. NO GLITTER!!!!!
4. Cards should be signed ONLY with your
first name.
Project Accountability:
1. Each time you sit down to start planning your card design, cutting out pieces to glue/ coloring or painting for your cards – Document your time on your school time sheet.
2. Take photos of yourself working on different stages of the cards.
3. Once you have completed making all of your cards, fan them out on a table or set them up by multiple stacks and take a photo of them.
Project Deadline, Contact & Receipt of Cards:
1. This project ends at noon on Fri. 11-20-20.
2. Students needing to report hours for the Spring Semester may do so by emailing your: time sheet, labeled photos and any school paperwork that needs to be signed to: BLFS Board member, Michelle Shiver at
3. At that time, she will give you Instructions for where and when your cards may be dropped off once social distancing restrictions are lifted.
Questions for clarification on the Better Living For Seniors (BLFS) service opportunity:
• Can students create as many cards as they want? Yes
• Students are making cards for major holidays only, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas?
A: The cards are for a specific project where they will be given out during December in preparation for Christmas.
• I know that the service hours are based on the time students spend creating their cards, so service hours may vary. However, do you all know the average service hours granted per card?
A: 1). Because creativity comes to people at different speeds and the intricacy of the card designs can impact speed – at this point, there is no measurement of how long it may take.
2). If a student reports 25 hours to produce only one card, the school would most likely want to look to the student to be able to explain how that happened.
3) Having the pictures of the cards in stages of progress will also provide a lot of information to the school.
4) The pictures of the cards will also tell you if the card was a 2 second stick-figure card, or one that has been crafted using rubber stamping, applying buttons & trim and special paper cutouts – a project requiring a bit more time. Either type of card is fine – it just gives you an idea if the time reported sounds reasonable.
5) The more cards and time sheets from students will also give some range of general norms.
• Is there a maximum amount of service hours a student can receive per card created?
A: Service hours are awarded by time recorded on the project and not by the card.

Service Opportunity #2
Making Masks – Many students have wondered if there is some way they can help with the COVID-19 crisis efforts. Please see below.

• A not-for-profit Bartow medical facility is in need of a minimum of 60 homemade medical masks just as soon as we can get them made!
• The need is actually greater than 60 masks (just as many as we can make), so once that goal is reached we want to keep on with this project.
• While these are NOT medical-grade masks, they offer more protection than having nothing at all.
• We want to be compliant with all social distancing orders, so we are hoping that there will be some of you that may have a basket of fabric scraps and sewing notions at home.
• Attached is a photo of a paper manufactured mask that is similar to the fabric ones you could make.
• The video link below also gives ideas for alternate supplies, for example, if you don’t have the ¼” elastic.
• OnPoint-TV You Tube: Making a Face Mask
(Healthcare workers have requested the pleated mask with opening)

100% cotton fabric 9”x15”
End Casing (2) 2 ½”x5”
Metal nose piece- twist tie or pipe cleaner: about 2” (optional)
Elastic – ¼”x9” (or smaller width elastic)
Ages 14 – adult, beginner or advanced sewing skills.
Students may get service hours for school.

• Tracking and reporting the time you spend on this project, is almost as Important the masks themselves.
o Because your service for this project is in response to the COVID-19 crisis, your service hours on this project will also be reported by us to FEMA.
o Disaster/Crisis volunteer head count and hours served are calculated by us into a dollar value for the County’s disaster reimbursement request to FEMA.
o This is important to you as a tax payer, because the County is able to be a good steward of tax dollars and leverage or match your crisis engagement, as a means of diminishing the overall COVID cost burden on tax funds.
o (Optional for adults – Required for Students) – Take or have someone take pictures of you as you work on different stages of this project. You can email them in to us with your time sheet. We love to see what you have been making and schools like the pictures as support that you worked on the project!

• Email me your time sheet, be sure to have your physical address on it. or
• We will arrange to have a designated person pick them up in a bag you leave on your front porch marked “Masks”.

Service Opportunity #3
There is an on-line volunteer-group called Volunteers read/record books on-line. The books are in the public domain, no longer under copyright, and most were published before 1923. The site seems to be well-organized in terms of volunteer roles and leadership. One assignment (for a seasoned LibriVox volunteer) is responsible for editing the completed readings and having mispronounced words and other bloopers re-recorded. See below for more details.

Volunteer for LibriVox
LibriVox volunteers read and record chapters of books in the public domain (books no longer under copyright), and make them available for free on the Internet. Practically, this means we record books published before 1923. All our recordings (including yours, if you volunteer for us) are also donated into the public domain.
We record books in all languages.
You do not need any prior experience to volunteer for LibriVox, nor do you need to audition or send us samples. All you need is your voice, some free software, your computer, and maybe an inexpensive microphone.
All LibriVox activity (book selection, project management, discussion, etc) happens on our Forum, and you’ll need to register there to join us. Our forum members are a friendly bunch, and questions will be answered there quickly (much more quickly than if you send us an email!).
We do suggest you read the document below, before registering and posting on the Forum, to get an idea of how everything works.
More Information
About Recording
LibriVox Project Types
Navigating the Forum
Cast of Characters
How it Works
Other Info

About Recording
Many LibriVox volunteers have never recorded anything, certainly not audiobooks. If you are new to recording, you’ll find many helpful people on the forum who will help you get yourself set up. Here is an overview, About Recording for LibriVox.
LibriVox Project Types
We have a number of different types of projects:
• collaborative: many volunteers contribute chapters of a long text
• solo: one volunteer reads an entire book
• short works (prose and poetry): short works and poetry!
• dramatic works: “actors” record parts, all edited together.
• other languages: projects in languages other than English.
Navigating the Forum
The Forums are split into three main sections:
• About LibriVox
o info about LibriVox, including our FAQ
• Books (Volunteer for Reading & Other Things)
This section includes:
• Book Suggestions (discuss books you’d like to record)
• Readers Wanted (where projects needing readers are listed)
• Going Solo (you’ll need to do a collaborative recording first)
• Listeners & Editors Wanted (our proof-listening process)
• Volunteer for Other Projects (other types of projects)
• Help, Discussion, & Suggestions
o For your questions, news and general chatter.
Cast of Characters
We’re all volunteers, and we’ve flipped traditional hierarchy upside down. The most important people in LibriVox are the readers, and everyone else works hard to help them make more audiobooks. We encourage everyone to do as much or as little as they like, and new ideas are open to discussion. Here is a list of people you will run into and what they do:
• readers: record chapters of public domain books in group projects or whole books as soloists
• book coordinators (BCs): manage production of a particular book
• prooflisteners (PLs and DPLs): listen to recordings submitted by the readers and flag obvious errors that can be easily corrected before books are cataloged
In addition to our volunteer readers, prooflisteners and BCs, a few more experienced volunteers are called upon as needed to take on the following roles.
• meta coordinators (MCs): support the readers and BCs while books are in production and complete the cataloging tasks when they are complete
• moderators: help the forum run smoothly and keep the peace when necessary
• admins: Maintain the project records and catalog database and try to make sure everyone has what they need to keep making more public domain audiobooks
How it Works
Practically, here is how things work:
1. a book coordinator posts a book in the New Projects Launch Pad Section.
2. a meta coordinator claims the project and moves the thread to the appropriate forum.
3. volunteers “claim” chapters to read.
4. the readers record their chapters in digital format.
5. the book coordinator collects all the files of all the chapters.
6. the book coordinator sends the collected files to a meta coordinator.
7. we check the files for technical problems in the Listeners Wanted section.
8. the book coordinator sends the collected, corrected files to a meta coordinator.
9. another public domain audiobook is made available for free.
Other Information
There are many, many other things you can do to help, so please feel free to jump into the Forums.
See here for a Guides for Listeners & Volunteers (the LibriVox wiki).
Contact us by email at: info AT librivox DOT org