Volunteerism runs deep across America, and it's no different in Sarasota.
Saturday, Jan. 19, is a National Day of Service, encouraging folks to get out in the community and pitch in to make a difference.
President Barack Obama started the National Day of Service four years ago, inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on Jan. 19, 2008, and also authorized a day of service on Sept. 11, 2009, as well.
You can find volunteer opportunities and register volunteer events on AllForGood.org, Serve.gov, and the Presidential Inauguration Committee website at http://www.2013pic.org/service/serve. Many volunteer opportunties are happening through the entire weekend and not just on the National Day of Service.
Sarasota County-based Gulf Coast Community Foundation has its own volunteer opportunity search engine called You'd Be Perfect For This.
“Service is the foundation of community,” said Teri A Hansen, president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “At ‘You’d Be Perfect for This,’ community members can browse until they find a service opportunity that truly engages them. And community groups can use the free site to reach out for the volunteer help they need.” Visitors to YoudBePerfectForThis.org can find information about service opportunities in their community that range from “done in a day” projects to standing weekly commitments.
Here is a round-up of Volunteer Opportunities in Sarasota on Jan. 19 from the above sources and submissions to Patch:
Volunteer With New College Students
More than two dozen New College of Florida students and alumni are participating in various service events this weekend and they are looking for more volunteers.
One of the highlights is cooking soup for 100 at the Resurrection House at noon Monday, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Here are the events they're working on this weekend:
- Working on projects in Palmetto, Bradenton and Ellenton, with Habitat for Humanity, 7 a.m. to 12 noon, Saturday, Jan. 19
- Cooking Soup for the homeless, location TBA, 4 to 6 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 20
- Distributing Soup at Resurrection House, Sarasota, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21
- Gardening at Orange Blossom Community Garden, Sarasota, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Monday, Jan. 21
- Participating in MLK Community Celebration in the Park, 3 to 6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 21
To participate, email the coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cocoanut Avenue Community Clean-up
Neighbors will be cleaning up the Central Cocoanut neighborhood as part of the Sarasota Service Round-Up on Monday, Jan. 21.
Donate To Food Pantry
AmpleHarvest.org is encouraging folks to donate to its member food pantries to help replenish their supplies. Its Sarasota affiliate is at St. Paul Food Pantry, 2256 Bahia Vista St.
Become A Mentor
Take Stock in Children of Sarasota County has ongoing opportunities for mentors to help guide at-risk youth from low-income families. For more information, visit www.takestocksarasota.org/ or call 941-358-4407.
Volunteer In Police Service With Sarasota PD
The Sarasota Police Department has a Volunteer In Police Service program that utilizes volunteers in administrative, auxiliary, citizen patrol, neighborhood watch
and marine patrol programs. Contact Officer Ford Snodgrass at 941-954-7056.
Provide A Home For Cats, Kittens
The Cat Depot has an ongoing need for Foster Volunteers to foster cats and kittens until they can find a permanent home. Contact Karen Slomba at 941-366-2404 for more information.
Bookworm Mascot for Literacy Empowers All Families
Are you an excellent cheerleader and love to encourage children to read? Well the Literacy Empowers All Families organization, or LEAF, is looking for a volunteer to don the Bookworm mascot costume for appearances at local libraries, community events and schools. Contact Karen Massa at 941-556-1600, ext. 106.