Are you confused about what to do when you feel bored? You could actually take up volunteering opportunities in Gainesville to build a community and impact the lives of those around you, animals inclusive.
The satisfaction you get when you make people smile because of your assistance regardless if you are been paid or not is heavenly. That’s volunteering. Volunteering is helping people do something willingly without being forced or paid to do it.
However, volunteering isn’t only about helping, it also comes with meeting new people, learning new skills, advancing your career, and you even feel happier and healthier. No matter what your interests or hobbies are, there is a volunteer organization that needs your help.
Gainesville community isn’t left out. There are lots of voluntary organization in Gainesville that needs your help and in this article we are looking at top 10 volunteering opportunities in Gainesville.
Let’s dive in!!!
WHY VOLUNTEER IN GAINESVILLE
Gainesville is one of the most attractive cities in Florida. Gainesville provides a wide range of incredible and affordable volunteering opportunities for high school and college students, gap year travelers and backpackers, senior volunteers, and enthusiastic couples who can join and contribute towards making a meaningful difference.
As a volunteer in Gainesville, you invest your efforts into the community and the people who live in it. You’re providing a valuable service to the community and are giving back through social responsibility.
Volunteering in Gainesville offers vital help to people in need, and the community at large, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. The right match can help you to find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career.
Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience. Giving in even simple ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness.
ARE THERE PAID VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES IN GAINESVILLE?
I’m not certain if there are paid volunteering opportunities in Gainesville. Most volunteering opportunities in Gainesville are free.
HOW CAN YOU BECOME A VOLUNTEER IN GAINESVILLE
To become a volunteer in Gainesville, there are certain steps you need to follow to guide you.
Here are the steps you can take to volunteer in your community:
1. Decide which causes you to care about
Choosing to volunteer for an organization or cause that you feel passionate about can increase the chances that you enjoy the opportunity. Take time to determine what you really care about before beginning a volunteer opportunity.
For example, if you’re passionate about pets, you may enjoy volunteering at a pet rescue center. The more specific you get about your passions and interests, the more likely you are to find a volunteer position that best fits you.
2. Identify the skills and knowledge you can offer
Many volunteering opportunities in Gainesville ask that individuals have certain skills.
For example, an animal shelter looking for an administrative volunteer will likely want that volunteer to have previous experience.
Assess the skills you currently have to see if there are specific roles you could volunteer for. Most nonprofits also have entry-level opportunities that train you on the basics, especially if it’s a long-term role.
3. Create a volunteer resume
Creating a volunteer resume that lists your previous experience as a volunteer as well as your skills and interests can be a great asset when applying for opportunities.
A resume allows the organization to quickly see what you have to offer and help find the most appropriate volunteer position for you.
4. Determine how often you can volunteer
Identify how many hours and days a week or month you can commit yourself to the position.
For example, if you work a full-time job during normal business hours, you may only want to volunteer on Saturday or Sunday.
If you are a stay-at-home parent, you may want to volunteer more frequently. Being realistic about your availability can ensure you don’t overcommit yourself when volunteering.
5. Get all the relevant details for the volunteer position
Before applying for a volunteer position, ensure that you know all of the details. Learn about the tasks you’ll complete, the level of commitment needed, and any required training.
The more information you know, the more prepared you will be if you get the position.
6. Checkup Gainesville volunteer site
To find a volunteer opportunity in the Gainesville community is to use their website. These sites allow you to input your skills, preferences, and schedule, and then match you with nearby opportunities.
7. Apply for the volunteer position
Many volunteer positions require you to submit an application. While these applications are usually not as stringent as those for a job, you should still treat the application as if it’s for a professional position.
Take time to ensure proper grammar and spelling, and provide references if asked for them.
You may also need to prepare for an interview if the position involves leading others or handling sensitive information.
8. Follow up after you apply
After applying for a volunteer position, follow up two or three days later if you haven’t heard back from the organization. Many nonprofit organizations are busy and have limited resources, meaning it can take longer to respond to inquiries about volunteer positions.
Following up ensures they receive your volunteer application and conveys your interest in the opportunity.
10. Complete any required training
Once you have secured a volunteer position, complete any training required. Most training will be minimal, but some organizations require you to hold a certification or complete a training course before you can begin volunteering.
11. Begin with a Limited Commitment
When you first start, plan your schedule only a month or two into the future. See if you enjoy the position and organization before you make a full commitment. Once you know you want to continue volunteering in this capacity, consider giving more of your time to the organization.
12. Be Professional
Treat your volunteer commitment just as you would a paying job. Show up on time, deliver on your commitments last minute, and be professional while performing volunteer work.
Nonprofit organizations rely on volunteers for many of their duties, so being reliable and professional makes a positive impact on the agency.
13. Regularly assess your volunteer experiences
Check-in with yourself every few months to make sure you still enjoy the volunteer position. If not, you may want to consider searching for another volunteer opportunity in Gainesville.
You could also speak to the volunteer coordinator to see if there are other roles available within the same organization
HOW CAN ONE FIND VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES IN GAINESVILLE
Finding volunteering opportunities in the Gainesville community have been made easy with the presence of the internet and social media.
Some voluntary organizations in Gainesville send in the notice for application to their social media pages or their website.
Gainesville community has its own voluntary website for organizations in need of volunteers. Just click on This Link to find more volunteering opportunities of your choice in Gainesville.
10 VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES in Gainesville
The 10 volunteering opportunities in Gainesville are;
1. Alachua County Foster Grandparent Program (FCP)
The Foster Grandparent Program (FCP) is a program where seniors ages 55 and older serve as mentors, loving caregivers, and tutors for youth and children with special needs.
What they do: The Foster Grandparent Program (FCP) matches low-income senior citizens ages 55 and older with children and youth who have emotional, medical, physical, or developmental challenges.
Foster grandparents care for children and infants with mental impairments, physical disabilities, or medical issues. They tutor children who are behind in reading, mentor young mothers and troubled teenagers, and also give emotional support for children who have been neglected or abused.
Volunteer activities: This program needs volunteers ages 55 and older interested in helping out children and youth with special needs. Your help can make a big difference in the lives of children and youth. You can help build their self-confidence, help them achieve their goals, and help them become productive, active members of their communities and families.
Foster grandparents often help the children at local schools, Head Start centers, youth centers, and hospitals. The time commitment average is 15-40 hours a week, often 4-6 hours a day Monday through Friday.
To become a foster grandparent and become part of these volunteering opportunities in Gainesville, you must meet income eligibility requirements.
Contact: Satori Days, Program Manager (352) 264-6730, [email protected]
Mailing Address: 218 SE 24th St., Gainesville, FL, 32641
2. AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
The American Cancer Society is a nonprofit health organization with a mission to save lives and diminish suffering from cancer through education, service, research, and advocacy
Description: The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.
What YOU can do to help: Volunteer drivers are needed to drive cancer patients to their treatment appointments.
Drivers must have the following:
- A vehicle in good working order
- A valid driver’s license
- Up-to-date insurance
- No more than 9 points on their insurance
To volunteer, drivers must attend a brief training session, fill out an application, and some documents must be submitted to the DMV. As for time commitment, volunteers drive as much or as little as they wish in the area of their choice.
Drivers who are part of these volunteering opportunities in Gainesville obtain training by ACS and are given secondary liability coverage for protection in the case of an accident.
Contact: (352) 376-6866
Address: 2119 SW 16th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608
3. AMIKIDS GAINESVILLE
AMIkids Gainesville is a nonprofit day treatment program that gives youth opportunities to learn and grow in responsibility, leadership, and confidence so they can move on to a brighter future.
What they do: AMIkids Gainesville’s Day Treatment Program works with youth who “has been adjudicated delinquent by the court for misdemeanors and lesser felonies.”
AMIkids Gainesville runs motivating, positive programs to inspire learning, personal growth, confidence, and leadership. They give youth the opportunity to transform into responsible, productive adults.
What YOU can do to help: Here are the volunteer opportunities available with AMIkids Gainesville:
- Classroom Mentor
- Career Development Speaker
- Administrative Worker
- Board of Trustees Member
- Working with counseling groups
- Providing opportunities for vocational learning
- Supporting community service activities
Contact: (352) 395-6193
Address: 6815 SW Archer Rd, Gainesville, 32608
4. Baby Gator:
Child Development and Research Center at UF. Baby Gator is a child development and research center that offers high-quality care for children ranging in age from 6 weeks old to five years old.
Description: Baby Gator fosters children’s growth in cognitive, behavioral, social, physical, and early literacy skills. Children learn and grow in a healthy and safe environment with an attentive and caring staff of early childhood educators.
What YOU can do to help: Volunteers are needed to play, read, talk and assist in the classroom. They also help during meal and snack times, rest time, and playground time.
There are 3 different locations around campus, so email the location at.
Lake Alice location (https://babygator.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/VolunteerPacket_Lake-Alice-09-06-18.pdf)
Newell Dr. location (https://babygator.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Volunteer-Packet-Newell-Drive-9-18-188.pdf)
Diamond Village location (https://babygator.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Volunteer-Packet-Diamond-Village-11-14-17.pdf)
5. BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB
The Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County is a local organization that is dedicated to the personal development of young women and young men in the community, with a special concern for the disadvantaged.
The Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County is dedicated to providing positive youth programming, with a special concern for helping disadvantaged and at-risk youth become well-adjusted adults, succeed to each one’s potential, and learn to serve others.
Description: The Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County has five core program areas that allow youth to learn and play in a fun, educational, safe environment.
The five core programs are leadership & character, career & educational development, sports/fitness/recreation, health/life skills, and arts/crafts.
What YOU can do to help: Volunteers assist as area assistants in day-to-day activities.
How to volunteer: Call or email the organization offering this volunteering opportunity in Gainesville using the contact information listed below.
6. CDS FAMILY & BEHAVIOURAL HEALTH SERVICES
CDS Family & Behavioral Health Services is committed to strengthening the community by building strong families through the prevention of substance abuse.
It is a private non-profit social services agency serving North Central Florida for more than 35 years. They are committed to strengthening the community by building strong families through the prevention of substance abuse.
Description: The three major program areas are youth shelters for youth in crisis; community education that focuses on prevention of substance abuse; and counseling people with substance abuse issues and troubled youth.
What YOU can do to help: There are many volunteer opportunities available. Please check the website for more details.
Contact: (352) 244-0628
SW Address: 3615 SW 13th St. Suite 4, Gainesville, FL, 32608
NW Address: 1218 NW 6th St., Gainesville, FL, 32601
6.FLORIDA DIABETES CAMP
Florida Diabetes Camp helps children and youth with diabetes learn to handle their diabetes by sharing with adults who care and other children who have diabetes.
What YOU can do to help: You must be at least 18 years old to volunteer.
Florida Diabetes Camp is staffed by nurses, teachers, physicians, administrators, nutritionists and counselors. Volunteer recruitment happens in the winter and spring for the summer camps. Fall and spring programs at the camp are staffed by summer counselors.
When you complete the application (http://floridadiabetescamp.org/staff/), mail it to the address listed below. Then the staff will schedule an interview for you.
They will also verify your references and do a background check. If you are selected to volunteer, you will then go to an orientation/training session before you start volunteering at camp.
Contact: Gary Cornwell, (352) 334-1321, [email protected]
Address: P.O. Box 14136, Gainesville, FL, 32604.
7. FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY
One way Friends of the Library serves the Alachua County Library District is by conducting two Friends of the Library book sales each year.
DESCRIPTION: The Friends of the Library book sales are widely known and attended by Gainesville residents.
The money generated from the semi-annual book sales goes toward supporting the library, library staff scholarships, county projects for literacy, and other special projects.
What YOU can do to help: Volunteers of all ages are needed to work in the Friends of the Library building sorting, arranging and pricing books for the two large book sales each year.
The weekly hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00noon.
Contact: (352) 375-1676, [email protected]
Address: 430-B North Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601
8. HAILE’S ANGELS PET RESCUE
Haile’s Angels Pet Rescue is a not-for-profit organization that helps adoptable animals find caring homes.
Their motto is “Helping animals become pets and helping pets become family.” Their goal is to prevent adoptable animals from being euthanized.
What they do: Haile’s Angels Pet Rescue rescues unwanted animals, examines the pets, then tries to find forever homes for the pets. They are open 10a.m. – 6p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturday.
What YOU can do to help: If you are interested in volunteering (must be 14 years old) with Haile’s Angels Pet Rescue, fill out the online volunteer form. (Ages 12-14 must have an adult volunteer with them for training and volunteering.)
Apparently, to join these volunteering opportunities in Gainesville, you’ll attend a volunteer orientation.
Contact: (352) 505-0302
Address: 5231 SW 91st Dr., Gainesville, FL, 32608
9. HELPING HANDS CLINIC
The Helping Hands Clinic is a not-for-profit clinic that provides medical services for the homeless in Gainesville.
It is one of the best volunteering opportunities in Gainesville. They are located at the First United Methodist Church. They first opened their doors in 1989.
The clinic is staffed by registered nurses, physicians, advanced registered nurse practitioners, community service volunteers, psychiatrists, and social workers.
What they do: Patients come to the clinic with ailments such as traumatic injuries, high blood pressure, severe dental problems, upper respiratory infections, and high blood pressure.
The Helping Hands Clinic offers referral and funding for prescription glasses and eye exams. They also give out material resources such as socks, blankets, personal hygiene products, books, shoes, and reading glasses.
What YOU can do to help: If you would like to join these volunteering opportunities in Gainesville or donate materials, call the number listed below.
Contact: (352) 519-5542
Address: 509 NE 1st St., Gainesville, FL, 32601
Mailing Address: 2603 NW 13th St. #306, Gainesville, FL, 32609
10. KIDS COUNT
Kids Count in Alachua County, Inc. is an organization dedicated to helping elementary school kids who need some encouragement and academic support.
DESCRIPTION: Kids Count in Alachua County, Inc. hosts an after-school program at Faith United Methodist Church. Their goal is to assist children in reaching their highest potential by building their social skills, confidence, and academic performance.
Their program combines effective literacy tutoring, hands-on enrichment activities, and social skill building through the development of character.
What YOU can do to help: Volunteers are needed in the following areas. Internships are also available.
- Preparing snacks
- Homework Help
- Art Projects
- Performing Arts
- Outdoor Activities
Majorly, volunteering is without pay. When you volunteer, it shows you are willing to work without pay or being forced to work.
If you have an interest in volunteering, Gainesville is a great place to make new friends and gain new life experiences.
Check out for more details on volunteering opportunities on the official volunteering website for Gainesville.