Dolphins, congratulations on your decision to volunteer. Volunteering provides value to our community and adds to the personal growth of the volunteers. Now that you know you want to volunteer, you need to take the right steps to make sure your volunteer experience is a good one. Considering some questions and looking at the s resources can help you find a great match that benefits you and the community!
1. Ask yourself some questions about your community service experience as outlined below:
- How do you define "service"?
- Why do you want to get involved?
- What do you hope to gain from this experience?
- What do you care about? What “out there” makes you proud, excited, angry, scared, fired up, inspired?
- What good things do you see going on in our community? What do you want to be a part of?
- What are you good at? What skills, talents, and gifts do you bring to those around you? (Think outside the box!)
How much time do you want to give per week? For how long (one quarter, all school year, just once)? What times of the day and week are you available? Think about classes, work schedules, homework and study time, other commitments. Where will your volunteering fit in?
Do you have a car? Do you know how to use the bus system? Are you looking to carpool with other UC students? Do you need to find a service site within walking or biking distance?
Do you want to volunteer as part of a group or with a friend?
2. Research opportunities that interest you, and contact the organizations.
Contact the Center for Community Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org for group opportunities!
- Opportunities provided by Community Partners that are upcoming, specific and may only last a day or two.
- Volunteers of America: Volunteers of America helps the most vulnerable and under-served people achieve their full potential. We provide services that are designed locally to address specific community needs. Our common areas of focus include promoting self-sufficiency for the homeless and for others overcoming personal crises, caring for the elderly and disabled and fostering their independence, and supporting positive development for troubled and at-risk children and youth. We look at the whole person and address both urgent and ongoing needs, with the goal of helping people become as self-reliant as possible. Volunteers of America, illustrating the presence of God through all that we do, serves people and communities in need and creates opportunities for people to experience the joy of serving others.
- HandsOn Jacksonville: We believe it is through people that change happens in our world! People like you. Join us and find ways to get connected to volunteer opportunities that are transforming our community! Our mission is to inspire, equip and mobilize volunteers to use their time, talent, money and voice to create change in their communities and in the world. We connect volunteers with their passion and we develop volunteer leaders and leaders of volunteers.
- Volunteer Florida: Volunteer Florida administers national service programs like AmeriCorps, which offer Floridians the opportunity to engage in intensive service to their community while increasing capacity for nonprofits and other service organizations. Volunteer Florida’s grantees include schools, educational foundations, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and other community organizations.
- United Way of Northeast Florida: United Way of Northeast Florida (UWNEFL) is committed to creating long-lasting social change by addressing the underlying causes of barriers to quality education, financial stability and healthy living.
- City of Jacksonville: JaxCorps is the City of Jacksonville's volunteer program directed by Employee Services. It is a partnership between residents and city government. JaxCorps provides the residents of Jacksonville with opportunities to be exposed to all aspects of city government. Volunteers work side-by-side with City employees. They enhance services that may not otherwise be provided. The City of Jacksonville offers diverse volunteer opportunities with flexible schedules including weekends. Volunteers play key roles by providing service to the community, assisting with special events, and in daily operations. This provides an opportunity for residents to become active participants in their local government.
- Volunteer Match: We believe everyone should have the chance to make a difference. That's why we make it easy for good people and good causes to connect. We've connected millions of people with a great place to volunteer and helped tens of thousands of organizations better leverage volunteers to create real impact.
3. Keep in touch with the Center for Community Engagement.
Let us know how it's going. We're here to support your volunteer effort!