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Ongoing Volunteer Activities
Learn about the many ways you can make a difference in the lives of First Coast children and families. Become a United Way volunteer. Sign up to help today!

Community Impact Fund Investment

United Way Community Fund donors are needed to help allocate funds to programs successfully addressing education, income and health issues in Northeast Florida.
Training required: A group training session in March will provide a recap of the program review process, an overview of the health and well-being of Northeast Florida, and the funding criteria.
Time commitment: 20-30 hours during the months of March - May
Contact: Melanie Patz, 904-390-3243

Early Childhood Success

ReadingPals Literacy Volunteer

Passionate, committed, caring volunteers are needed to help four-year-olds in our community get ready for kindergarten.  ReadingPals visit pairs of children in preschool classrooms 1-hour a week to share classic children’s books, engage in conversation and play games focused on concepts like letters, colors and shapes.  By meeting with the same children each week for 29 weeks not only do volunteers help build essential skills, they provide the individual attention many children need to thrive.  More information is available at www.uwnefl.org/readingpals

Training required: 4-hour training in use of materials and curriculum, as well as working with four-year-olds.  A Level-II background screening is required and provided at no charge. Onsite
trainings available for groups of 10 or more.

Contact: Melissa Elgersma, 904-390-3255

Parent/Caregiver Workshop Leader

Volunteers are needed to conduct turn-key interactive workshops at workplace and other community venues for parents and caregivers of young children. Workshops help parents and caregivers who are unsure of what actions to take or feel they don’t have time to help their children grow and develop or prepare for school.
Training required: Training in use of materials and curriculum, as well as facilitation skills is provided.
Contact: George Robinson, 904-390-3225

Senior Independence and Engagement

Life: Act 2
A community collaboration, led by United Way, Life: Act 2 takes a pro-active approach to issues affecting older adults. This initiative mobilizes and coordinates senior-related resources, offers programs to assure seniors' easy access to integrated health and social service systems, and develops programs that promote a shift in the way our community views and values seniors and the aging process.
Training required: Training for all positions is provided.
The following Life: Act 2 volunteer positions are currently available.
  • Senior Services: Volunteers are needed to distribute educational information on services for seniors. Informational resource sheets will be placed in such venues as grocery stores, doctor's offices, and senior centers. Volunteers are also needed to assemble "hospital discharge information toolkits" for local distribution.
  • Training required: An orientation briefing will be provided for those volunteers who assist with distribution of materials.
  • Contact: Jean Burhans, 904-390-3292

Financial Stability and Well-Being

Real$ense Prosperity Campaign
The Real$ense Prosperity Campaign helps low-income families achieve their financial goals through free income tax preparation assistance to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit and/or to attend financial classes that prepare them to start matched savings accounts.

Current Volunteer Opportunities:
Outreach Specialist: Fill speaking engagements and staff information display tables at community events, as requested by local businesses or organizations. Outreach helps educate and promote all services offered through Real$ense. No public speaking experience necessary.
Training required: One, 2-hour training session is required to learn all aspects of Real$ense background, mission, and services. Training classes are offered by special request throughout the year to organizations with groups of 10 or more.
Time commitment: Outreach Specialists receive periodic e-mail requests for various speaking engagements and participation in community events. Volunteers only respond to the events they would like to help cover. All volunteers are provided with marketing materials/giveaways for any events in which they participate. Contact Kim Ouellette at 904-390-3276 or kimo@uwnefl.org.

Tax Preparer: Learn limited tax law and prepare taxes via an on-line program (Tax Wise).
Training required: 16 to 20 hours of formal training, by either AARP Tax-Aide or the IRS, requiring the successful completion of a certification test at the end of the class. Training classes offered in December and January.
Time commitment: 30* - 40** hours between January 15 and April 15. (*VITA volunteers; AARP Tax-Aide volunteers**)
Call 904-390-3237 for more information.

Tax Site Greeter: Greet taxpayers as they enter a free tax preparation site, keep the waiting room running smoothly, and inform tax payers about other Real$ense services available to them, such as matched savings and financial education. Tasks include:
• Greet taxpayer clients; sign them in
• Review client paperwork to assure they have everything they need
• Refer clients to a financial counselor if one is present at that location
• Make certain clients get their taxes prepared according to their turn
Training required: Training takes 4 hours. Training classes offered in December and January.
Time commitment: 30 hours between January 15 and April 15
Call 904-390-3237 for more information.

Quality Review Specialist: Review completed tax returns to assure there are no glaring errors and that no preparation steps were missed. QR Specialists will also answer questions from newer tax preparers as necessary.
Training required: Training in tax law and Tax Wise software; previous tax prep experience (VITA or AARP Tax-Aide) preferred.
Time commitment: 30 hours between January 15 and April 15
Call 904-390-3237 for more information.

Financial Education Trainer: Facilitate Money Smart, a financial education class for community members interested in learning how to better manage their wealth and assets. Class locations vary.
Training required: 8 hours of training in the Money Smart curriculum.
Time commitment: Includes attending a Money Smart Train-the-Trainer session prior to teaching a class. Classes are offered weekdays, evenings, and Saturdays throughout the year. Flexible time commitment.
Call 904-390-3237 for more information.

Florida Master Money Mentor: Mentors receive approximately 20 hours of intensive training in basic money management, strategies for dealing with financial problems, credit and debt management, savings, mentoring techniques, and connecting to community resources. Following the completion of training, each volunteer provides financial mentoring to at least 24 individuals within one year. Contact Lindsay Ferguson at 904-390-4008 or lindsayf@uwnefl.org.

Helping Students and Their Families

Full Service Schools
Full Service Schools of Jacksonville is working to connect families, schools and neighbors to help students overcome the non-academic barriers they face.
Training required: Training for all positions is provided
Contact: Holly Diz, 904-390-3238
The following Full Service Schools volunteer positions are available.
  • Oversight Committee Members: Volunteers, residents of the community the specific site serves, are needed as voting members. For other sites, volunteers are requested to serve as non-voting resource members. In this capacity, these persons are not required to live or work in the neighborhood, but have an interest or skill needed by the oversight committees in order to perform certain functions. Examples of tasks include: organizing a health fair and the design and analysis of a needs/assets assessment.
  • College Student Interns: Students working toward degrees in health and human services fields will be utilized in program areas where appropriate supervision is available.
  • Classroom Helpers:Many classrooms are in need of volunteers during the school day to provide various services.
  • Facility Helpers: Volunteers of varying skill levels will provide improvements such as light painting and landscaping at sites and schools where needed.
    Achievers for Life needs Mentors! Click here to change a student's life.

Where to Turn for Help in Northeast Florida

United Way 2-1-1
United Way's 2-1-1 is our community's 24-hour information and referral helpline. It also serves as our community's suicide intervention hotline. Trained call center specialists respond to approximately 70,000 calls for help each year.
Training required: Training for all positions is provided.
Contact: Holly Diz by email or call 904-390-3238
The following United Way 2-1-1 volunteer positions are available.
  • Resource Database updates - data entry (updating system and manual entries) Volunteers with the ability to type and basic computer skills are needed to update 2-1-1's service database, ServicePoint. Volunteers will receive data entry training.
  • Directory call-backs and follow-ups Volunteers are needed to follow-up with 2-1-1 callers for quality assurance and effectiveness of referrals. Volunteers will be trained on the use of a prepared script and on documentation of calls.
  • UW 2-1-1 Call Center Specialists Volunteers with good communication and basic computer skills are needed to answer 2-1-1 calls during times of high call volume, including natural disasters. Volunteers will learn about Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) requirements and standards and recording information into 2-1-1's database ServicePoint.
  • Receptionist/Administrative Assistant Volunteers with computer skills are needed to assist with day-to-day administrative work of 2-1-1, including faxing, processing mail, and assisting with data entry. All volunteers will be trained in United Way processes and machinery including copy, fax, and mail.