Volunteer Opportunities in South Florida

by on October 25th, 2014
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Volunteering in your local community can be very rewarding. It draws your focus outside of yourself, thinking of other people’s needs. Here are two great national organizations run, primarily on donations and volunteers, located in South Florida.

Habitat for Humanity’s goal is to provide shelter to those in need through the teachings of Jesus Christ. In fact their mission statement states that “Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with God and people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which every person can experience God’s love and can live and grow into all that God intends.”

To volunteer in the South Florida area, you have two options. You can either attend the monthly volunteer meetings held 10am on the first Saturday at Habitat ReStore, 2299 NW 77th Terr., Miami, FL 33147 or you can complete the online orientation found at www.miamihabitat.org which should take about 20 minutes. Once that is finished you can create an account to access the Volunteer Hub showing you the various housing projects you can work at. If for some reason you are able to volunteer onsite, there are a variety of other positions which need your help such as Community outreach, Miami Habitat’s ReStore, Family Services, Family Selection, Workshops, Legal Services, Clerical Assistance, and Fundraising. This is an excellent program, especially for high schoolers working towards their community service hours.

This second organization, which is near and dear to my heart, is Respect Life. They are committed to helping the young mothers of our community with the love and support they need for raising their family. Their mission statement is as follows: “The Respect Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Miami, faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, exists to uphold the sanctity and dignity of all human life from conception to natural death.” Respect Life offers material assistance, parenting classes, and outreach programs.

There are several centers in which to volunteer. Before you can volunteer, you have to attend the Life Issues Workshop (available in English and Spanish) in order to learn more about the program and to find out if this is something you want to pursue. Check the Respect Life website at www.respectlifemiami.org for the dates and call to make reservations. Once that is completed, create an account at www.virtus.org and choose the next Virtus seminar to attend (if you haven’t already). The purpose of this seminar is for the volunteer to recognize the behavior of an abused child or the abuser. The next step is to go to the Virtus website, find the nearest place to be fingerprinted, and call to make an appointment. After that, you can log back on to Virtus and print your certificate which you will then bring to your first day of volunteering at any one of the centers.

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