Volunteer Opportunities

To Volunteer

If you are looking for a place to volunteer your time and talents, please contact us. We work with volunteers with different backgrounds and in a variety of capacities. For example, one school group volunteered their time collecting toothbrushes and toothpaste for our clients. Someone else utilized her skills as a seamstress to repair children's clothes donated to The Nest. If you want to help, we can find a place for you!

Before you become a Nest volunteer, please print out the following document, fill it out and bring it in with you. It will allow us to do a criminal background check, which is required of all volunteers. If you have questions about the procedure, contact Sheri Estill.

Volunteer Registration Forms


Sayre volunteers and students support The Nest

When Rosie Riddick and Shannon Stallings first saw the Resource Room at The Nest, it was so packed with donations people had brought in during the holiday season that they couldn’t see the floor. The Christmas season is always a busy one when donors contribute more items than usual while the staff prepares for the annual Reindeer Express gift giveaway. What isn’t used during this season is sorted or stored for future use.

Sorting and organizing are two of the gifts Riddick and Stallings have brought to The Nest in the eight hours a week that they’ve been volunteering since January. Even though they have their own families at home to keep organized, they’ve spent much of their energy turning the resource room into a more useful space for staff and volunteers. “We see all the stuff that Sheri does with the clients and we just want to make it easier for her,” Riddick says.

Riddick is referring to Sheri Estill, Director of Crisis Care for The Nest. When people come in with emergency needs asking for items like diapers, toiletries, food and car seats, she spends time talking with them about what they need to alleviate the immediate crisis  and move onto a better situation. Then she or a volunteer goes into the resource room to gather items they need.

“We know the clients don’t come in experiencing the best situation so we want Sheri to be able to spend time with them,” Riddick says.

While The Nest staff sees Riddick and Stallings weekly, it’s not only these two parents of students at Sayre School who are supporting the organization’s work. Sayre families of students in preschool through third grade have been collecting toiletries and sending them to the school. Students in grades three through five have been making toiletry “kits” from the donations by organizing them in easy-to-distribute bags.

Riddick thought The Nest was a good place for students to concentrate their efforts because it’s downtown, just a few blocks from the school, and because of who it serves. “It would be easier for the kids to relate here because it serves kids,” she says.

“The teachers have really pushed for it to happen,” Stallings says, noting it was their idea for the children to put the donations into kits. They have plenty to bag up because of the generosity of their parents. Stallings says, “Sayre families are some of the most giving families I’ve ever been around.”

Recently, a parent donated two chests of drawers to aid in the Resource Room’s organization.

Stallings and Riddick both say they’re happy to volunteer. Stallings hopes the time they put in is a catalyst for helping The Nest best serve those in need. Riddick says, “I really believe in what you are doing here.”

Riddick credits the parents and teachers with going beyond what she expected from their end of the project. The staff at The Nest knows that Riddick and Stallings are also going above and beyond every time they walk in the Resource Room.

Child Care seeks volunteer readers for Story Time Heroes

Heroes are everywhere in books—Charlotte who spun her web, Cindy Lou who melted The Grinch’s heart and the little engine that brought toys to the boys and girls. They’ve captivated children and invited them to be readers for generations.

Now we want you to be a Story Time Hero. The Nest—Center for Women, Children & Families Child Care Program is inviting readers to spend 15 minutes with our children. You can bring your favorite childhood book, read it to our students and donate it. Or, we’ll be happy to supply you with a book if you are able to come in and read. As a Story Time Hero, you’ll be encouraging children to develop a love for words and stories that will help them learn throughout life.

Will you make time in your busy schedule for us? Most of the children to whom we offer care and education come from families who are in crisis. We offer their families respite (free) care while they attend school, look for a job or attend to other family business that will eventually lead to improved stability and well-being for the family. By sharing your time with these children, you will be providing them with a positive role model as a Story Time Hero.

Please contact Child Care Director Jenny Morris about scheduling a time at jmorris@thenestlexington.org or 859-254-1974 ext.28.

NAIFA Bluegrass donates hours and dollars to providing food boxes

The hands around the tables repeated their tasks like pros. Many of them had been packing 200 or more food boxes in an assembly line for years. Cans of green beans, corn, packets of gravy mix, boxes of corn bread mix and instant mashed potatoes, bread and bags of fruit—they all went into the boxes with canned ham and potatoes. Then there were the 10-pound rolls of freshly ground beef that families could choose as an alternative to the ham.

Members of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors Bluegrass has made this possible for Reindeer Express families at The Nest for years. Member Sandy Gragg first became acquainted with The Nest 15 year ago through a board member. He found donors and volunteers to help upgrade some of the facilities.

Gragg is much like other members of the association who have donated their energies to supporting The Nest. He says his business philosophy as always been “Do unto others . . .I’ve been up, I’ve been down financially. I would hope that if some time I need help for my family someone would help them,” he says.

Gragg has connected the group with people in the community, like Ron Mingua of Mingua Beef Jerky, who have donated in some way to the food boxes. In the case of Mingua, he donated the freshly ground beef. Association members greatly appreciate the community support which can lower their costs. Gragg remembers that the first food boxes cost $8 each; this year the cost was $31.

Jim Tackett is another key association member who organizes the event and shops for the food. Member Tracey Francis connected the group with the Walmart at Palomar Center, which has financially supported the food boxes and Reindeer Express. These are only a few of the dedication association members who make the food boxes happen.

While the shopping and food box assembly takes dedication, the association’s volunteerism doesn’t stop there. Members also participate on the day of Reindeer Express. They distribute the food boxes, often carrying the heavy loads to cars and sometimes offering someone who walks a ride so they’ll be able to transport the box. NAIFA Bluegrass has become part of The Nest family through their fundraising and volunteering efforts. It's a partnership that helped to feed more than 200 families during this past holiday season. It also allowed the NAIFA members an opportunity to receive "thanks" firsthand for some of the families they assisted.

The United Way volunteer information

Volunteer Story Archives