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A small investment of time can make a big difference in the lives of children.

A Child’s Haven needs community volunteers to serve as bus drivers and monitors to get children to and from the organization’s therapeutic child care program. Routes run from 7 – 9 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m. weekdays. Volunteers can choose their own schedule and are asked to volunteer a minimum of one time slot per week. Volunteer monitors and drivers drive the 15-passenger buses safely with the children from their homes to the facility and then back home in the afternoon. Jennifer McGuffee, Community Engagement Specialist at A Child’s Haven, said 96 percent of the children arrive via bus.

“The monitor is providing supervision and a positive interaction with the children and therapists and caregivers,” she said. “It’s a good time to build rapport.”

Drivers follow a GPS route and handle paperwork with the caregiver. Monitors engage in songs and games along the way. When younger children are transported, additional monitors ride along.

McGuffee said retirees, grandparents and stay-at-home parents are great candidates to help.

“It’s so beneficial,” she said. “You are building the self-esteem and social-emotional skills for the child.”

And the volunteers benefit from the interaction as well.

McGuffee said the program serves children ages 3 months – 5 years who have developmental delays. The therapeutic child care includes behavioral therapy in a group setting, as well as individual therapy, home visits and parent support groups. The program is open all year. Currently, there are six bus routes, with a seventh one in the planning stages. Volunteers are required to have a background check, a DOT Physical, CPR and first aid training. A valid South Carolina driver’s license is required, but not a commercial driver’s license. Training is free.

Upcoming training sessions at A Child’s Haven, 20 Martin Drive, Greenville:

  • Aug. 29: noon – 1 p.m. (light lunch)
  • Sept. 6: 8 – 9 a.m. (coffee and doughnuts)
  • Sept. 20: noon – 1 p.m. (light lunch)

For more information, contact A Child’s Haven at info@achildshaven.org or 864-298-0025, ext. 2019.

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