3 Apr

Inspiring the Youth of Florida

inspire Florida's youthStudies have shown that influencing young people in a positive direction is the best way to make them effective adults. Volunteers in Florida who work with children’s organizations in various walks of life are out to do exactly that. Florida is largely comprised of low to middle income households. The parents of these households frequently need help with the job of raising children because they are single, working parents, married parents who both work, or at risk individuals who struggle with addictions or mental disorders. This means that youth organizations and individual volunteers are an invaluable resource to struggling parents, and can positively impact the life of a child.

The mission of these organizations is to keep kids out of trouble. Some children have already been exposed to adverse situations and environments, and keeping them out of trouble can be difficult. But for the average child, it may not take much to steer them away from the pitfalls of the world toward a happy, healthy existence. Most of them simply need someone who will reach out to them, spend time with them and be there for them. This accompanied with a safe location and engaging activities can lead a child toward a positive, productive way of living.

Providing after school activities to children can mean the difference between getting into trouble and learning to avoid trouble. Organizations such as Kiwanis and the Boys & Girls Club are pinnacle examples of the positive ways that after school activities and safe locations can help children develop into fully functional grown ups. This organization provides games, arts and crafts, sporting equipment and other activities, as well as counselors, to children who have nowhere to go before and after school.

After school organizations also provide excellent learning opportunities for kids. The minds of many children are hungry for the stimulation of learning and easily latch on to activities that are informational and educational. After school organizations will frequently include visits from outdoor scientists who teach kids about nature, gardening, animals and other educational topics. They are presented in ways that are fun for kids, including music, colors, media and other interactive ways of learning.

3 Apr

Community Building in Florida

Florida community buildingPeople who volunteer with the at risk or underprivileged population in Florida make an enormous impact on the health of communities. When the presence of violence, gang disputes, substance abuse and crime enter a community, it is hard to reverse their trends. The impacts are felt in a multi-generational way, and retraining the community to function in a healthy way, peacefully, selflessly and in accordance with the law, can be very challenging. Volunteer organizations and individuals, such as Kiwanis, Boys & Girls Club and many more, work to address these issues at every age level to restore the bond the community has with one another. This is done in a variety of ways:

  • Cleaning up parks and neighborhoods. Volunteering labor and man hours is one very important way of restoring a community and giving it a sense of pride. Often in at risk neighborhoods, pride and care for the appearance and the working order of the neighborhood has gone by the wayside, usually because of the low morale that neighborhood disturbances have caused. Someone volunteering to assist in these abandoned projects, such as trash removal in public parks, the painting of public and private property that has been neglected and weed removal from public spaces is invaluable to the pride of the community.
  • Fighting addiction and substance abuse. The prevalence of intoxicating, mind-altering substances within a community is a sign of its deterioration. Addiction and substance abuse are signs of mental unhealthiness that are deeply rooted. These types of disorders warrant professional counseling, but in poverty stricken areas, professional counseling is typically not an option. The community relies on its members and volunteers to support addicts and substance abusers to encourage their sobriety.
  • Helping the elderly and the needy. Every disadvantaged community has members who cannot help themselves, either because of age or disability or physical limitations. Those who volunteer their time to these individuals, in the form of shopping for them or helping them get chores done or some other type of provision, is enormously helpful. This creates trust and accountability within a community, as well as a sense of peace and gratitude.

3 Apr

Civic Impact of Volunteering in Florida

volunteer civic impact in FloridaThose who volunteer in Florida’s underprivileged communities with at risk individuals make an incredible difference in the lives of the people they interact with. Because of the way Florida is portrayed in the media, a glamorous party scene, many people do not realize that Florida has some poverty stricken low income areas where drug sales and gang activity run rampant. Organizations such as Kiwanis, the Boys & Girls Club of Florida and a number of shelters work to combat the negative influences that encroach upon these neighborhoods through positive reinforcement and interactions with both children and adults. The efforts of these organizations have been very positive in decreasing crime rates, lowering cases of substance abuse and helping build a stronger sense of community.

  • Decreasing crime rates is one of the most positive contributions that private volunteers and volunteer organizations make to at-risk communities in Florida. There are many cases of violent crimes, as well as the sale and trafficking of illegal substances that occur within the state of Florida. This criminal element thrives because new generations are continuously exposed to it and repeat harmful patterns. But volunteers intervene into these situations, interrupting their ongoing cycle.
  • Decreasing and treating substance abuse is another important element to volunteering in underprivileged communities in Florida. Substance abuse and addiction are a type of disorder, largely brought on by adverse experiences in a person’s youth. Substance abuse and addiction are detrimental to a person’s physical and mental health, and are wise to practice controlling and eliminating. Abusing illegal substances also represents a crime element that communities are healthier without, which volunteers impress on at risk individuals.
  • Building a stronger sense of community within an underprivileged district is one of the primary functions of a civic volunteer. This may be achieved through activities such as community meals, restoring a park, painting fences or helping needy individuals with tasks they cannot accomplish on their own. This is important because a sense of pride in one’s community is the backbone of a strong, healthy community. This promotes positive interactions and stronger relationships than in a community with members that are closed off from one another.

3 Apr

At Risk Youth in Florida

Florida kids supportFlorida is a beautiful destination that offers many enjoyable and therapeutic elements, but it is also widely known for its party environment and loose legal system. The Miami area has one of the most popular nightlife scenes in the country due to the amount of wealth and vacationers in the area, and Miami’s police department and courts are known to lightly enforce laws. Growing up in an environment like this can be hard on children, and can result in disfunctionality if no one intervenes on behalf of the children. Here are some basic tips to aid in the prevention of disfunctionality in your child.

Children’s brains are like sponges, and though they are still learning good discipline, exposing them to crafts, hobbies and extracurriculars is an excellent use of their time. When children are young is the best time to let them explore different activities, and chances are when they find one they love, they will be devoted to it for life. This is tried and true one of the best ways to occupy a kid’s time and encourage them to put their energy toward something worthwhile.

There are many organizations that are dedicated to providing kids with recreation, after school and during school breaks. Organizations such as The Boys & Girls Club and Kiwanis provide a facility for kids to meet at and recreational activities for them to take part in, such as a wide range of sports, games and events, books and literature and arts and crafts. For parents that want their child to have fun options and social time, these organizations are an excellent alternative to one focused extracurricular.

And lastly, the most effective way to keep kids from being disfunctional is for their parents to stay active in their lives. A child who knows they are cared for will always come out better than one who does not. Parents should consistently talk to their kids about teen substance abuse, school, peers, alcohol, sex and the world. A parent should also never stop listening to their child and making them feel secure. Florida is one of many places that can challenge a child’s burgeoning value system, but with the right amount of direction and love, a child will end up healthy, happy and ready to experience the world.