Whether it be volunteering at a soup kitchen, helping to set up a local event, or even adopting a highway, any kind of volunteering is always a great thing for the community. Although many people enjoy donating their time to others who need it most, they often end up spending most of their service in a single category of volunteering. This can quickly become repetitive, which is exactly why it is a great idea to mix things up. Florida has many interestingly unique ways to volunteer that are open to anyone with the desire to help others. 

Youth court offers many opportunities every year for mature, understanding, and compassionate volunteers who are interested in the way that a court functions while deciding which sentences to hand out to defendants. Not only does Youth court allow for minors to collaborate with other minors to discuss the occurring events during peer jury, but it also allows for minors to decide which sentences will be handed out to first-time youth offenders. The volunteer must attend Youth Court at least one time every month for one year straight in order to remain in the program. Youth court is encouraged to those who desire an enriching experience within a real court system.  

“Peer Jury is an alternative to formal charges being entered against young offenders, but it still holds offenders accountable for their actions,” said Sergeant Steve Parkinson of the Buffalo Grove Police Department. 

The Hope Lodge is a great volunteering opportunity for those who desire a more personable experience while helping cancer patients who are in the recovery process. Lead by Tabrea Ndaula, The Hope Lodge allows volunteers to host a game night for the Lodge’s current cancer patients and their caretakers. The volunteer/host is required to come up with multiple fun, interactive, and engaging activities that captivate those who are staying at the lodge. The only limit in this volunteering opportunity is one’s imagination, and anyone who volunteers at the Lodge is bound to make someone’s day. This volunteer opportunity is best for anyone who is looking for more personal experience while working with the patients. 

“This is a great opportunity to serve your community while making friends who also love the museum,” according to the Florida Natural History Museum.

Sponsored by The Florida Natural History Museum, volunteers who take this junior volunteering opportunity will be challenged with the tasks of presenting history programs and exhibits to Museum visitors. All volunteers who sign up for this opportunity will be trained onsite, and they will be taught how to professionally handle the museum’s equipment. This volunteering opportunity takes place during the summer of 2020 and the volunteer will be interacting with anyone who happens to visit the museum.  

“To be a Junior Achievement volunteer means to have a hands-on effect on your future local and global economy; as our students will be better equipped for the financial climate ahead,” according to JA Finance Park Side.

Created as a gateway for minors to learn about money management, the JA Finance Park Side volunteering opportunity is a great way to help your local community. In order to enforce this mindset into the interested children, volunteers will host interactive lessons that teach the kids about the importance of financial literacy.  In this volunteer program, mentors help kids to provide opportunities for them to look forward to great futures and experience wonderful experiences.

For more information click the links below: 

Youth Court: http://www.omniyouth.org/giving-to-omni/volunteer/peer-jury-volunteer/ 

Hope Lodge Game Night: https://www.volunteersuncoast.org/opportunity/a0C1L00000e6zMGUAY 

History Museum: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/volunteers/juniors/ 

JA Finance Park Side: https://jatampabay.org/get-involved/individuals/volunteer/ 

Josh Yaker // Staff Writer

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