2017 is a brand new year! As always, many of you have probably started thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. If your list isn’t final yet or you think you can squeeze just one more thing into a busy year, let us suggest this one: resolve to get involved.
In addition to the benefits you may expect from volunteering in your community – making new connections and friends, doing work you are proud of, and feeling accomplished – there is research to suggest that volunteering has health benefits. According to a report by the Corporation for National & Community Service (the federal agency behind AmeriCorps and leading the national call to service initiative), volunteering is linked to both physical and mental health outcomes. These links include decreased mortality and rates of depression and are particularly strong for older volunteers.
Opportunities to volunteer in Pinellas County are abundant. Take a look around and you’re nearly sure to find something that fits your skills, schedule, and passion.
If you are interested in volunteering with UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County, we have the following opportunities at this time and new ones are always coming up:
- Sustainable Living – We are currently conducting economic studies of the Dunedin Downtown Market and Corey Avenue Sunday Market and need volunteers to help us measure the economic value of these farmers markets to the surrounding communities by counting attendance or taking survey – for dates, further information and to register: Dunedin and St. Petersburg.
- 4-H – Make a difference in the lives of Pinellas County youth by volunteering with 4-H. Start a new club teaching kids about something that you love on a schedule that fits you. Judge demonstrations and other contests. Amplify the good that 4-H can do by joining the 4-H association and helping to plan fundraising opportunities – email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Master Gardeners – Learn to design, plant and care for plants and landscapes in a Florida-Friendly way – teach others and participate in gardening projects throughout the county. Requires training – information available.
- Brooker Creek and Weedon Island Preserves – Get to know “our wildest place” and “a place to remember”. Volunteers serve in a variety of roles here – from staffing the help desk and greeting visitors to leading hikes and reading to youth at story times.
- Internships – Available throughout the county to interested students, volunteer internships can be designed to fit your interests and help you understand possible career paths. Contact the agent or county staff you are interested in working with to discuss what projects they may have available. Learn more or apply online: