Celebrate community service by volunteering – here’s how

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Many newcomers to the area are often oblivious to local needs. They often remain in closed communities, comfortably oblivious to the housing, hunger, transportation, education and health care needs of the less fortunate. This lost sense of community service may not be unique to Collier County. Yet it is exacerbated by the annual influx of people from other parts of the country who do not know our community. There are many ways to get involved. Find out how by attending the Volunteer Expo on Wednesday, November 10 at the Coastland Center Mall.

Greater Naples Leadership strives to familiarize newcomers to Southwest Florida with local nonprofits by requiring potential members to take our Master Class. Over our 25 years, nearly 1,000 highly accomplished people have participated in this course, which focuses on how best to meet the needs of the community by getting involved with nonprofit organizations in the area. Each year, we partner with other people and organizations to help. hand wherever needed. s Currently, our 500+ active members are engaged in over 200 nonprofit and civic organizations.

During the COVID pandemic, our members organized and worked on countless food drives. The results have been impressive, as GNL members were responsible for more than 80,000 meals delivered to approximately 25,000 families in the past 12 months. In doing so, our members continued their work with other local nonprofits focusing on education, social services, environment and the arts, among others. Several members also sit on county and city advisory boards and as elected officials.

Even as our members and other individuals and organizations donate their time, money and talents, the need continues to grow as public funds remain constrained. We still need volunteers and local support to help feed the hungry, mentor students, care for the mentally ill, house the homeless and allow those who work in Collier County to enjoy their lives here. also.

If you want to contribute to our community but don’t know where to start, explore the options at the Volunteer Exhibition, which will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 10 at the Coastland Center shopping mall in Naples. Over 50 government and nonprofit agencies based in Collier County in need of board members, committee members or general volunteers will have exhibitor tables.

Admission is free and you are welcome to network with representatives of these organizations, learn more about their missions, and find out what might be right for your precious investment of time. Register for the Volunteer Expo at www.napleschamber.org. Click on Talent, then Get Involved to view the Volunteer Expo registration. ??


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