Now is the perfect time for Americans to make a difference in their communities by sharing their knowledge, talents, and life experiences through volunteering. Research has demonstrated that volunteering can increase an individual’s sense of well-being mentally, physically, and emotionally.
With more than 600 nonprofit organizations in Sarasota County, volunteer experiences range from one day special events to weekly/ongoing activities. Opportunities exist to assist in a wide variety of areas. Do you have administrative, house building, or animal care skills to share? Have you considered becoming a museum docent, store manager, or tutoring grade-level readers? Every encounter and experience can be enriching when you give the gift of time.
Over the course of a few sunny days, I was fortunate to encounter many volunteers engaged in a variety of activities benefitting members of our community. A partnership of volunteers from the Where Angels Play Foundation; the Sarasota County Department of Recreation, Parks and Natural Resources Division; and a group of retired firefighters and their families built a playground at Ted Sperling Park in honor of two Sarasota youth who lost their lives.
Another group comprised of volunteers from Sarasota County Parks, Visit Sarasota, and Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s Ambassador Corp provided GPS guidance for visitors at Siesta Key Beach. The Ambassador Corp includes 65 members with an average age of 73 years.
Another team was observed serving as volunteer resident hosts at Turtle Beach Camping Grounds.
During a visit to Aviva - A Campus for Senior Life, I discovered an active game of MahJong in play, led by Marilyn, a weekly volunteer. Residents Evelyn, Helen, and Rae (with a combined age of 220 years) were competing for the best hand. Each of these exemplary volunteers is members of one of the fastest growing demographic groups, older Americans.
Despite the wealth of opportunities and the thousands of volunteers and potential volunteers in our community, Florida ranked 43rd out of 50 states according to Forbes 2017 Volunteering and Service Report.
Consider sharing the wealth of your experiences with others while engaging and enriching your life. Perhaps you might find your perfect opportunity at The Giving Partner.
- TAGS: External Stakeholders, Outputs to Outcomes
- CATEGORIES: Social Participation, Community Support and Health Services, Civic Participation and Employment