Some unemployed in Mid-South volunteering - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Some unemployed in Mid-South volunteering

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(WMC-TV) - The unemployment rate nationwide is about 7.6 percent, and last month hiring dropped nationwide. In the Mid-South, the unemployment rate is 9.3 percent.

But one program in the area aims to help people find jobs by volunteering their time, and writing about it everyday.

Andrea Hand spent the day volunteering at SRVS, pronounced serves or referred to as SRVS, in Memphis. The organization is at the forefront of providing services for people with disabilities and bringing peace of mind to their families.

As of Friday, it was Hand's fifth day volunteering at nonprofits in Memphis with Volunteer Odyssey.

"I've been helping with coloring, holding stencils, and working with different activities," she said.

Volunteer Odyssey is a seven day program where people volunteer at seven different nonprofits over the course of a full week, and blog about their experiences.

"To see different opportunities, and to have something to talk about in that next interview, look what I've done with my time, I haven't just sat on the couch at home," said Hand.

Hand recently left her full-time job, and now joins hundreds of others who are unemployed. But she has chosen to give of her time while she looks for another job.

"I think there's a little bit of apprehension to step out of your comfort zone," said Hand.

That is what program founder Sarah Petchonek is striving to do.

"About helping people network, get out of their comfort zone and help," she said.

Take Kevin Nowlin for example. He is unemployed, and gave up his time for seven days. He got several interviews following the experience.

That is what is really all about, growing voluntarism while helping people find a rewarding job.

"There's so much going on in Memphis and I feel like, if we take these opportunities in places that are doing such great things, then you can make connections," said Hand.

You can get involved by clicking here.

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