First Lady partners with Volunteer Florida to make volunteering easier

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By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service
November 14, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- If you are asking yourself how you can can give something back this holiday season, or if you are part of an nonprofit that needs help, Florida’s First Family and Volunteer Florida are trying to make it easier for everyone.

Thousands came to the Panhandle to volunteer after Hurricane Michael.

It happens every time a storm hits somewhere.

“We just figured we’d bring a fryer over here, and help cook and feed the people,” said Gene Monteiths with Big Bend Kitchen Services.

Volunteer Florida has logged more than four million volunteer hours in the last year.

Now the public-private agency, with the help Florida’s First lady Casey DeSantis, is unveiling Volunteer Connect, a way for volunteers to connect with their passion, whatever it may be.

“So, it you like animals, or children. Or you want to help the homeless or the environment, you can go to one centralized site and be able to find something you want to be a part of,” said DeSantis.

Simply type in your location and what you what you want to do.

“We’re excited about all the things outside the box that can be done,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Clay Ingram.

Ingram said opportunities go far beyond wanting to work in a soup kitchen.

“Working at night in your PJ’s wanting to help a non profit with their accounting. I mean it’s endless possibilities,” said Ingram.

Bright Futures recipients or high school students can use Volunteer Connect to fulfill community services hours needed to graduate.

“There are people across this state who want to help, and sometimes they just don’t know where to turn to make a difference,” said DeSantis.

But now they do.

The First Lady is asking people from around Florida to consider coming to the Panhandle to help residents still suffering a year after Hurricane Michael.

To check on volunteer opportunities, click here.

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