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Volunteering - What's your passion?

Locations to volunteer are plentiful
Locations to volunteer are plentiful
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

A great way to help out individuals or in your community is through volunteering. There are a multitude of agencies looking for volunteers all year long.

You may be wondering, where do I start? I would recommend start by thinking about where your passions lay. Do you like sports, nutrition, or talking to the elderly? What about crafts, gardening, organizing or cleaning? Does the thought of working with kids spark your interest? Try and narrow down a few areas to find the right venue for you. If you are no longer working think about what you used to do? There are so many options to teach many subjects. Perhaps you could volunteer for the county and help enterpreneurs by building a business plan, teaching a computer program, or with marketing ideas. There are so many new start up individuals and companies that need help from experienced individuals from beginning to end and are eager to learn to be successful.

Perhaps you could help out in a shelter, food bank, hospice, hospitals, or the Red Cross. They are always in need of assistance. What about keeping the Earth cleaner. Maybe you would like to be involved in cleaning up the local beaches and parks. Contact your local City Hall to see what they have to offer.

If you are in the Pinellas County area you could contact the Pinellas County Extension Service. You can reach them through their website or at (727) 582-2100. You can receive training in several areas to support the community including nutrition, finances and gardening. If you want to help with the transition of someone moving on consider Hospice. They can be reached at 727-467-7423. They always need support in their office as well as out in the field. This is a great way to make this a family event and teach your family the importance of helping others. You could go to the local hospital and read stories or just be companion for someone. Bring a smile to someones life and make their day a little brighter.

Habitat for Humanity is another great program to help as an individual or family to help another family have a nice home to come to every day. Building a new home takes plenty of time and money and they rely on volunteers to help with this cause. When you see a family put the key in the door to there new home this gives you just as much excitement as the new owner. Help those who are hungry. RCS needs help with their food banks, store and help at their events to raise awareness.

Don't forget about pets. They need help too. Check out the Pinellas County Animal Services. You can help by being in their Foster Care program, coming into a facility and help feed and clean their little homes or just holding and showing love to an animal can help them grow. Call them at 727-582-2648 or visit their website for more details.

As you can see the options are endless and the rewards are tremendous. So many opportunities to share what you know with others and make a difference in someones life. These volunteer opportunities make it possible for thousands of people to really be involved and get active in our community. You can make a difference in the life of a child, family or animal. The opportunity to give to others helps people in need and helps you feel good knowing you were able to make a difference in someones life.

Whether you volunteer an hour or a day it will be appreciated. If you can volunteer more time, try and see what happens. Check with your local agencies or any of the links above to see how you can make a difference today. There are many people waiting to be helped. Now is the time you can make a difference.

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