April is Florida Volunteer Month, a time to recognize the contributions that Floridians 50+ provide to their communities through volunteer work and a chance for us all to think about how we can help make a positive difference in the lives of our neighbors.
There are limitless opportunities in Florida, and every special skill and talent can be utilized in some way or another. Volunteering is a great way to get out of the house, to make new friends, and to do something great for your community. Volunteering also has been shown to be good for your health, both your physical and mental wellbeing.
Below are several ways you can get involved with AARP.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide: Perhaps you are gifted with numbers. In that case, you can volunteer with the AARP foundation Tax Aide program which provides tax help to taxpayers 50+ free of charge. Don’t have a background in accounting or tax law? Don’t worry; volunteers get excellent training developed in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service. You can also volunteer to be a greeter or a translator at one of the many tax-aide locations.
AARP Grassroots Advocate: If you enjoy learning about legislation and policy issues, you may be a great fit for AARP’s Grassroots Advocacy program. Grassroots advocates call legislators and their staffs, visit their offices, organize or recruit other volunteers to participate in local events and rallies. AARP can’t advocate for elder rights without you.
AARP E-Activist: Similar to being a Grassroots Advocate, this method of volunteering allows you to stay informed about the issues coming before state or national legislators – but e-activists do everything via e-mail or phone. This is a great way to join the fight for elder rights without having to leave the comfort of your home.
Speakers Bureau: If you’re comfortable speaking before the public, you should consider the Speakers Bureau. Speakers get training to give presentations on specific topics that blend education and advocacy. AARP fights on real issues that matter to you and your family, and you’re a big part of that.
AARP Create the Good: Create the Good has several resources to help you find the perfect fit for you, whether you have 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days to give. Enter your ZIP code on the Create the Good website ( www.createthegood.org ) and you will receive a list of opportunities with varying time commitments. It’s a great jumping off point if you want to get involved in your community, but are coming up short on specific ideas.
AARP Driver Safety: There are several positions involved, ranging from Regional Director to Driving Instructor. If you’re passionate about keeping drivers alert and promoting safe driving, this program might be perfect for you.
Volunteer Florida ( www.volunteerflorida.org ) is also a useful resource if you’re looking to get involved. They provide over 50 links to different volunteer organizations. Also, on their homepage you can find a link to the official Florida Volunteer Month website, which will give you different ideas for involvement. Their 2013 campaign, Viva Volunteers, celebrates long-time volunteers and encourages new ones. It’s never too late to start volunteering.
AARP Create the Good: http://createthegood.org/
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide: http://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/info-2006/volunteer_aarp_tax_aide.html
AARP Grassroots Advocate:
Volunteer Florida: http://www.volunteerflorida.org/index.html
Viva Volunteers – Florida Volunteer Month: http://www.volunteerflorida.org/floridavolunteermonth/