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ServeFlo offers an opportunity to give back

on Tuesday, 11 June 2019. Posted in Editorials, Opinions

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.” - The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Those might not be the most famous words spoken by Dr. King, but they are both profound and so very true.

Beginning Saturday, Florentines of all ages, races and ethnicities, all genders and faiths, will have ample opportunity to roll up their sleeves and volunteer time and talent to make their neighborhoods and their community a better place to live.

This will be the fourth year that ServeFlo, a community-wide initiative sponsored the nonprofit Helping Florence Flourish (HFF), will rally members of the community to come together for a two-week period to complete close to two dozen service projects, from painting and landscaping to picking up trash or repairing a roof. There’s also a blood drive and a host of other ways to give back.

You can read more about the ServeFlo initiative, especially how to sign up to volunteer, on Page 1B of today’s edition.

At its core, ServeFlo is about neighbor helping neighbor. It’s about helping each other. It’s about using our talents and skills in a way that makes a positive impact on the lives of others.

We can’t think of a better opportunity to suggest our readers volunteer.

There are so many positives to be gained from volunteering. Here are ten:

1. Make an impact: Looking to make a real, lasting difference in this world? Unlike other aspects of life you may not be able to control, volunteering allows you to choose where and how to make a difference. It’s easy to get inspired with a cause you truly care about—and it’s rewarding to see your direct impact.

2. Strengthen communities: From cleaning up a street to reading to kids at the local library, you can enhance your own life by improving the areas where you work, live and play. A strong community with a high quality of life means safer, healthier lives for you and those around you.

3. Meet others: Looking to broaden your network or find others with similar interests? Volunteering is a great outlet for meeting others. A local club or organization can put you face-to-face with people right in your community—plus, it’s easy to bond over a shared passion. You can create lasting friendships with those you may not have otherwise met in your day-to-day grind.

4. Improve your health: Yes! Volunteering is actually good for you. Studies have shown that volunteering makes people feel physically healthier, manage chronic health conditions and lower stress!

5. Take the lead: Often what a great effort needs most is a great leader. If you see a cause that needs a push or a group that needs a head—take the lead! Many find leadership rewarding in itself because of the opportunity to share their passion, value and inspiration with others. When you take a leadership role, you also have the ability to shape the world around you in the ways you choose.

6. Share expertise: Everyone has a skill or experience from which someone else can benefit. If you aren’t putting your talents to their best use in your everyday life (or even if you are!), volunteering can be a prime way to share. Get out in your community and put your skills - from teaching to sewing - toward helping others.

7. Improve skills, or learn new ones: Want to learn basic carpentry, improve your cooking or discover how something works? Classes and courses can come at a cost—but volunteering is free!

8. Up your resume ante: Considering a career shift? A volunteering gig can be a perfect way to fill a knowledge or employment gap. It can also be a valuable addition to a resume if you’re applying to a new job or graduate school program.

9. Find new opportunities: Doors open when you volunteer. You can widen your social network, discover an organization in your community or finally talk to the person you always see on the bus! Who knows: You may even stumble across your dream job by meeting your future colleague or next job reference.

10. Because it just feels good: We thought it was worth a mention.

We applaud the efforts of ServeFlo organizers and all volunteers. We hope this fortnight of service projects will have the best turnout ever.

Let’s roll up our sleeves and get busy.

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