Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Volunteer Center’s staff to take unpaid time off

Citizen Staff Writer



The Volunteer Center of Southern Arizona – which provides tutors to youths and volunteers to dozens of local organizations – is facing a budget deficit of more than $150,000, said its director, Michele Schubert.

On Thursday, she announced mandatory one-day-a-week furloughs for the center’s staff. It has 12 full-time workers and one half-time employee.

The furloughs will make up about $80,000 of the deficit. Vacation and sick time will not be affected by the furloughs, Schubert said.

They will begin March 1 and take place on Fridays, the day that will have the least impact on services to programs that help youth, she said.

Schubert is appealing to the community to make tax-deductible donations to the center by the end of March to cover $100,000 in unfunded administrative costs and get the agency through to the end of its fiscal year June 30.

“We will not give up. We are not going down,” Schubert said. “I’m confident we’ll get through this.”

On Thursday the center received a $3,500 foundation grant, a sign, she hopes, of better days ahead.

The agency has a half-time grant writer who continues to seek new sources of funding for the center, which matches volunteers with agencies seeking help with a variety of programs and services.

It also helps to recruit and place volunteers in the federal National Service programs Experience Corps and Vista.

Among the programs for which it recruits volunteers are mentoring and tutor programs that aim to prevent delinquency and others that teach nonprofits how to manage and recruit volunteers, how to build a board of directors and how to achieve proper fiscal management.

The agency also provides volunteer opportunities to young retirees and helps support the Community Food Bank with volunteers.

Because of the soft economy, donations from individuals are down, Schubert said, but she hopes anyone who can will answer the agency’s appeal for funds.

Funds from the newly approved federal stimulus package are expected to trickle down to local nonprofits like the Volunteer Center but that is not likely to happen until the summer, Schubert said.


To make a donation to the nonprofit online with a credit or debit card, the address is www.voluntersoaz.org.

Donations can be made by mail: 924 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson 85711.

Also, donations can be made by calling 881-3300 Monday through Thursday during normal business hours.

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