WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
There's really nothing to it!
A healthy community is one where people get involved in those issues that concern them… whether it is alcohol, tobacco and drug prevention OR recycling OR youth leadership OR cleaning our beaches… volunteers MAKE our communities GREAT! It is estimated that Americans each volunteer at least Fifty hours per year and that the average value of their time if approx $18.00 per hour.
If the Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Abuse Prevention issue is where you’d like to donate some time and expertise there are LOTS of ways to get involved. If you are in one of the communities where we have a Regional Prevention Center just give us a call (see the Contact Us page of our web site). We’ll see how we can match your interest and skills to the possibilities we have waiting! If you are not in one of our communities there are endless volunteer contacts.
Before you reach out and announce that you are available, there are some questions you should ask yourself and some thinking to do about what you think would be a good fit for you and your skills and time available. The following points are ones to consider as you take on volunteer tasks:
- Why do you want to volunteer?
- Is there an organization or issue that is especially meaningful to you?
- Look for an organization that is in close proximity or within a distance you are willing to travel… or if travel is your thing, select countries you’d like to visit and research volunteer opportunities there!
- Seek out an organization and tasks within it that suits your skills and interests (for example: you might believe you’d like to work with the elderly because you miss your grandmother… but do you have the patience or real interest to work with this population?)
- Start small… don’t burn yourself out with a group that demands far more than you can deliver
- Get to know the organization(s) you are considering and learn how it supports volunteers. Some GREAT organizations do not have the staff it takes to create a good volunteer program… or can not support volunteers in other ways.
- Spend time with lead staff to explain your reasons, your skills and goals for volunteering.
- Be very clear with the organization as to how much time you are able to give
- Get started! Get trained!
- There will be times you may be asked to do some of the less pleasant or fun tasks… pitch in!
- HAVE FUN!
- Do not be afraid to evaluate the organization as you volunteer… if the organization is not really what you want to be involved with then give notice (just like a job) and find the right fit elsewhere.
- Remember… when you volunteer the organization will count on you to be there, do what you said you would do, and to represent them well.
Research consistently shows that the more often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs.
The conversations that go hand-in-hand with dinner will help you learn more about your children's lives and better understand the challenges they face. This is also a great opportunity to open the discussion about the dangers of drug and alcohol use.
September 22nd is National Family Day!!!
Make the commitment to eat dinner as a family during the week of Sept. 22nd through Sept. 27th and enter to win a family meal (up to $35) at one of Jacksonville's great participating restaurants.
REGISTER TO TAKE THE PLEDGE NOW!!!
All winners will be contacted no later than September 12th
Some places you can check out online:
And each community has a library FULL of resources along with lots of local groups: Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Churches/places of worship, local food banks and shelters, PTAs, Cities and Counties often have programs needing volunteers…
Other national organizations welcome volunteers and provide great experiences in exchange. Such organizations include the Sierra Club where you have the opportunity to travel to various national parks or countries to work. The Peace Corp or America Corp is in need of long term volunteers.
The possibilities are endless and as unique as each of us. So jump in!