‘Lifting the Lid on the real Boca Raton’
Moving to, and living in, Boca Raton was the best decision my family and I have made. From my youngest child to my wife, we have all been amazed and delighted at the warmth of the welcome we received and the plethora of activities and events that are available to us; tennis, baseball, parks, the beaches, our lives have definitely changed for the better. But what really surprized us is the sheer amount of goodwill and community activity in Boca Raton, and it’s this community spirit that I want to talk about; the face of Boca that may not be immediately visible to commentators and visitors to the city.
Over the weekend, I counted more than one hundred non-profits in Boca covering a range of areas from the environment and the arts to the disabled and the elderly. All of these organizations are dedicated to improving the lives of our 200,000-strong population in our city. Being newcomers, we felt we wanted to give something back to the community that we now live in and enjoy. So, as a family, we have been investigating the possibility of volunteering in the future, and how we might contribute to the Boca community. This has been a difficult task because there are just so many organizations, and we are interested in a variety of sectors. While I would love to list all of the organizations looking for volunteers in the City, I thought I would highlight just a few to give you a flavor of some of the great projects and initiatives underway. For a more comprehensive list of non-profits and charities, visit The Boca Guide http://www.bocaguide.com/volunteer.html and Great Non Profits http://greatnonprofits.org/city/boca-raton/FL.
The Boca Ballet Theater (BBT) is looking for volunteers to help in their dance studio through their community outreach programs including BBT4PD where classes are offered to persons living with Parkinson’s Disease, and 1st Step which exposes education to Boca Raton youth. BBT also utilizes volunteer support in all aspects of performance and fundraising activities throughout the season. www.bocaballet.org
The Boca Raton Children’s Museum has opportunities for both children and parents to help behind the scenes. For more information, visit www.CMboca.org
The Atrium is seeking volunteers to help in their Alzheimer/Dementia Unit. Preferences include: Volunteers who can play an instrument or sing in a group or one-on-one to residents. Volunteers should have some knowledge on Alzheimer’s disease and/or related diseases, and volunteers must be positive!
The Boca Raton Society for the Disabled, Inc. is looking for volunteers to help in their day facility for adult development. For specific volunteer duties, visit their website at www.TwinPalmsCenter.com
The Debbie-Rand Memorial Service League has a range of volunteer opportunities available. Volunteers are an integral part of the hospital: acting as hospital ambassadors to patients, employees and visitors; assisting patients and staff on a nursing unit; raising funds for equipment and services; serving on an event planning committee; organizing children’s tours and helping with the Pet Therapy program. Volunteers can be of all ages. www.brrh.com
The Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center provide socialization as well as mentally stimulating programs for those with mild to moderate dementia. Volunteer opportunities include meeting and greeting participants, one-on-one socializing, leading group activities, sharing musical abilities and assisting with center programming. www.fau.edu/memorywellnesscenter/index.html
The Children’s Home Society of FL offers a program called Project 18 Mentoring – a mentoring program for children in foster care aged 12-18. The children are in need of adults to help guide them in furthering their education goals, having a sense of self-worth and helping them prepare for independence in adulthood. www.chsfl.org/mentoring.php
PROPEL – People Reaching Out to Provide Education and Leadership – support at risk youth and their families in the North Broward and South Palm Beach County areas. Volunteers are needed to conduct life skills sessions on character, personal finance, drugs and education. www.PropelYourFuture.com
The Tri County Animal Rescue is looking for volunteers to help as cat companions; dog walkers and bathers; front desk; adoption counselors; painters, plumbers and handypersons; fund raising volunteers are needed. Volunteers must 18 years of age or older.
The Gumbo Limbo Environmental Education Center is looking for volunteers with a love of marine animals and who like to meet and talk to new people every day. There are over 20 volunteer positions available at Gumbo Limbo. www.gumbolimbo.org.
The Sea Angels is a nonprofit environmental conservation organization and the leaders in “Green”, sustainable cleanups and Boca Raton is part of their focus. http://www.seaangels.org/