Volunteer Opportunities in Bandon

You may have seen a number of notices lately in the Coffee Break calling for volunteers in a wide variety of areas.  This winter might be a perfect time for you to take your extra time and your talent and donate it to a worthy cause!

The ways your volunteered time benefits others are many and varied, but did you know that it can benefit volunteers of all ages just as much?  Volunteering helps tie people to the community and widen their support systems; develop social, employment, and general life skills; maintain mental and physical health; and live a longer and happier life.  Find our more on the benefits of volunteering.

There are many different volunteer opportunities right here in the greater Bandon area.  Whether you are interested in working with children, the sick and elderly, animals, hungry families or books, everyone is sure to find something to fit their needs and interests.

BRAVO: Bandon Readers and Volunteers Organization
Join others at Ocean Crest Elementary on Tuesday afternoons to help 1st and 2nd graders develop their reading skills by reading with them.  Contact the Ocean Crest principal Mary Rae Anderson at 541-347-9282 for more information.

CHH Hospice
Coastal Home Health and Hospice is looking for compassionate volunteers to help support patients and their families in the home and in indirect care with administrative-office support.  Volunteers help families and the CHH Hospice staff throughout Coos and Curry Counties.  For more information, call Lynnie Denne at 541-512-5040 or email her at lynnie.denne@coastalhhh.org.

CASA: Court Appointed Special Advocates
If you are interested in helping children who have been abused or neglected, consider becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate.  CASA volunteers work with the court system and Oregon Department of Human Services to ensure that all necessary information is given to the court so judges can make the best decisions for children.  If you are interested, attend an informational meeting on January 28 from 2-4 p.m. at The Grounds coffee shop inside Books by the Bay at 1875 Sherman in North Bend.  Volunteers will receive 30 hours of free training in March and April.  If you are interested, contact Laila Dunham at 441-435-7013 or email her at ldunham@orcca.us.

Bandon Public Library
For those looking for flexibility and a bookish environment, consider volunteering your time at the Bandon Public Library.  They are always looking for helpers to check in and shelve books.  Stop in at the library at 1204 11th St. SW or call 541-347-3221 if you are interested.

Bandon Library Friends and Foundation (BLFF)
The BLFF’s mission is to furnish and continue to improve the Bandon Library with a view towards the inevitable growth and needs of the community.  They sponsor activities to advance literature and learning as well as special programs that enrich the lives of Bandon’s children, families, seniors, and new readers of all ages.  Volunteers are needed to help coordinate, prepare for and run their quality events.  Email the BLFF at BLFF@bandonlff.org if you are interested.

Coos County Animal Shelter 
Many people find themselves drawn to helping the non-human animals in our community.  To volunteer with the Coos County Animal Shelter, pick up an application at the shelter or use their website to download an application. To volunteer, you must be 18 years old and pass a simple background check, then you’ll be on your way to many of the positions available. For more information, contact Stacy, the volunteer coordinator at 541-297-5115

Bandon Feeds the Hungry
Bandon Feeds the Hungry is an umbrella organization incorporating Everyone At Table (E.A.T.), Good Neighbors Food Bank, and Senior Nutrition (Meals on Wheels).
Bandon Senior Nutrition/Meals on Wheels
Contact Bandon Senior Nutrition to find out how to volunteer.
1100 West 11TH
E.A.T. – Everyone At Table
E.A.T., Inc., run entirely by volunteers, has been dedicated to serving nutritious meals to community members on a limited income since 2004. They are often looking for volunteers to sweep and mop, make salads, serve salads, and wash dishes. Call Allison Hundley, 541-404-2268, for more information.
Good Neighbors Community Food Bank
Volunteer-run Good Neighbors needs volunteers to assist them in acquiring and distributing food to needy individuals and families in the geographic area of Bandon, Oregon. They serve approximately 165 Bandon families a month.  For information, contact Keith Young at 541-347-3268.

Bandon Chamber of Commerce
Helping visitors and tourists might be right up your volunteer alley.  The Bandon Chamber of Commerce is looking for volunteers who love Bandon and enjoy meeting new people to help with the only regional visitor information center staffed by volunteers year-’round.  Volunteers are needed four hours a week for meeting visitors and locals and answering questions about area businesses, activities and events. Training is provided.  Call 541-347-9616 for more information.

Volunteering does not have to be confined to organizations with websites and email addresses.  Look around you, and pay attention to the needs in the community.  Perhaps you would enjoy working in your child’s classroom.  Or you see that your elderly neighbor’s grass needs cutting.  You might notice that the single mom across the street doesn’t have time to walk her dog.  Whatever you choose to do, a little time and energy on your part can go a long ways in your community!

Amenities Every Vacation Home Should Have


Many vacation rental owners attempt to reduce their costs by reducing the extra amenities available to renters, but this can backfire as they find they have fewer bookings and fewer repeat guests.

When asking yourself what amenities you should offer to your guests, think about your own travels.  Consider the last time you went on vacation and stayed in a hotel or a vacation rental home.  What did you really appreciate having?  What did you wish was provided?  The amenities offered in a vacation rental can be the icing on the cake for your renters, and can make the difference between them returning or finding a different place to rent next time.

Free Wireless Internet

Free wireless should no longer be seen as optional.  In this world, people want and need to stay connected.  They want to share their pictures and experiences from their vacation; stream movies or TV shows; stay in touch with email, Facebook, and Twitter; and many people do a little work when away from home.

TV, Cable Channels, DVD Players, and games

After a day of play and activities, families appreciate being able to wind down with cable TV or a movie.  Basic channels will do, but cable is a must.  It may be a good idea to start a library of DVDs in all categories, including gamesfamily friendly ones, as guests may not think to bring their own.  Keep your eyes open at thrift stores and garage sales as they are inexpensive sources of a variety of movies.   If possible, place a TV with cable and/or a DVD player in each bedroom, and, keeping in mind that happy kids make parents happy, having a game system with a few games wouldn’t hurt.

Believe it or not, some families enjoy playing games that do not require a system or a monitor!  It’s a great idea to have some games available such as Scattergories, Pictionary, Apples 2 Apples, a few decks of cards, and a cribbage board.

Fully-Stocked Kitchen

Remember, one perk of staying in a vacation rental home over a hotel is the ability to make meals at home.  Look around your kitchen.  What are your basics?  If you don’t cook much, ask a friend who does.  Be sure that your kitchen is stocked with all the tools necessary for eating, drinking, cooking, and baking.  Include pots and pans, a pots panscookie sheet, coffee maker (with filters!), microwave, dishes, wine glasses, silverware, a set of knives, cutting board, and a variety of gadgets such as a can opener, corkscrew, spatula, wooden spoon, etc.  Also include the things necessary for cleaning up, such as kitchen towels and dish soap.  An outdoor grill will attract those who enjoy doing their cooking outside.

Pet-Friendly Policies

The decision to allow pets in your vacation rental or not is a personal one, but pet-friendly policies do open your rental to families who may otherwise need to look elsewhere.  Guests with pets typically expect to pay a non-refundable pet fee to use to deep-clean the carpet after each guest, and you won’t have to worry about future guests with allergies or sensitivity to pet smell. dog

Washer and Dryer

As airlines are charging more and more to check baggage, many travelers limit themselves to one carry-on bag on the airplane.  With the option to wash their clothes during their stay, everyone will feel less packing pressure and be more relaxed about getting their clothes a bit dirty while on vacation.  Be sure to include laundry detergent as well as instructions to use the machines.

Welcome Basket

A welcome basket visible as guests enter is a nice touch.  It doesn’t have to include fancy wine and crackers, but a few simple free necessities can go a long way, especially things that guests will want to buy but don’t want to have to on their first day rolling into town.  Consider including items such as hand soap, a small bottle of shampoo and tube of toothpaste, a new kitchen sponge, a small packet of coffee, a few different types of tea, and a few cookies or pieces of candy.

Fireplace, Pool or Hot Tub

Depending on where your vacation home is rented, one of these options firecan make your guests’ stay more comfortable and fun.

Things to Do Binder

Many travelers staying in vacation homes do so so they can feel like they are living like locals.  Think about the great places there are to visit and see, and spend some time collecting brochures and menus from various establishments in town as well as some of your own thoughts about to do in the area.  Gather these ideas into a binder with sections for restaurants, art galleries, entertainment for kids, parks, beaches, rentals, shopping, etc, and make it easy to find and use.  You may be surprised at how helpful and appreciated that is!

A great way to get a feel for amenities guests would appreciate is to stock your vacation rental home with the things you think they will want, and then book a stay there yourself.  Take only the things you would take to a hotel, and during your stay, make a list of the things you wish you had.

Happy guests will be return guests!  Going the extra mile to ensure that renters are happy, comfortable and entertained will increase the likelihood that they will return and will recommend your rental to their friends.