VOLUNTEER BEAT

Clubs offer service opportunities


Published: Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 11, 2013 at 1:08 p.m.

Many organizations in Gainesville and the surrounding areas present a way for you to volunteer through the mission of the club as well as through special local projects the club may undertake.

One such organization is the Gainesville Garden Club Inc., which was founded on Sept. 11, 1924, and became federated in May 1927. Circles were organized in 1930. There are currently 15 circles that boast a membership in excess of 350 individuals. If you are interested in gardening and promoting horticultural education in our community, you might consider contacting them at http://ggcfl.org or 352-331-0426. As the Garden Club members are apt to say: “Please feel free to drop in on any meeting. We would love to see you!”

Or, perhaps your goal in 2013 is to become a Master Gardener and share your knowledge through the Alachua County Extension Office. To find out more information, you can visit the Alachua County and/or Florida Master Gardener website http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/mastergardener.

Never forget the power of groups. Youths under 18 often find it difficult to volunteer in some organizations because of age restrictions. If you belong to a club such as the Girls Club, Boys & Girls Club or other youth organizations, you will find they also do projects that help other organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House, Hope Lodge, Shand’s Hospital or St. Francis House.

Adults who are short on time may find that working through their organization provides a much needed service to others in the community while maximizing their time.

If you want to learn more about volunteer opportunities in your community, I highly recommend attending the Nonprofit Expo, which will be held Jan. 20 at the University of Florida Hilton and Conference Center. The expo is from 1 to 5 p.m. and is free. Many local nonprofits will be there to explain their need for volunteers and how you can help their mission.

I wish you a happy year of volunteering and the knowledge that you do make a difference for the good in our community!

For more information, contact pbellis@gator.net.

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