Free time is great, but it can be a boredom trap, too. So volunteering can be a perfect way to fill that void and return the blessings of living in Southern Arizona.

Anyone thinking about volunteer work should plan to drop by the Green Valley Recreation West Center on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 10 a.m. to noon. The Green Valley-Sahuarita Volunteer Clearinghouse will present its 13th annual Volunteer Showcase, with manager Maureen McCarthy at the helm. It’s looking like it will be the best ever, with many more organizations lined up to answer questions and provide visitors with all the information they need to help them choose a new volunteer experience.

Sponsored by the Greater Green Valley Foundation, Country Fair White Elephant, KGVY, Green Valley Recreation, Friends in Deed, La Posada, Posada Life Community Services, Joyner-Green Valley Library, and the Green Valley News/Sahuarita Sun, it has been described as “one-stop shopping for both volunteers and agencies looking for a match.”

Last year, 200 visitors met with 50 agencies exploring avenues for those with some time on their hands to make a difference in the lives of others and be a part of keeping the community a wonderful place to live. Opportunities are unlimited and the rewards can be life-changing. Volunteers can guide, tutor, beautify, rescue, support, advocate, administrate, befriend, feed, lead, patrol, promote, coach, mentor, fix, transport, teach and learn, or just reach out.

“Our goal is to provide a one-stop venue to allow potential volunteers to meet with volunteer coordinators and discuss how volunteering with their agency would meet the volunteer’s unique talents, interests and expectations,” McCarthy points out.

“Hundreds of folks have found ways to use their time and talents to help others,” says GVSVC Program Manager Joyce Finkelstein. “Whatever you like to do, there is a volunteer organization that can use your abilities.”

The showcase is free to the public. Visitors can expect friendly faces eager to chat with them and casually answer their questions. Agencies consider it a fact-finding day, so they know the importance of taking the time to ponder all the possible choices. Participants can enjoy complimentary refreshments in the lobby while browsing brochures and discussing options.

Volunteers have become a way of life around here, most working unselfishly behind the scenes. People are looking for ways to keep busy, meet new people, and do what they like to do, while making a difference in the lives of their neighbors.

“This is a great way to learn what these organizations do, and the important roles their volunteers play,” Finkelstein says. “We hope everyone who’s thinking about volunteering can drop by the Showcase. Even if they can’t make it, they can always contact us at GVSVC by phone or at our website and we’ll set an appointment to help match them with just the right volunteer opportunity.”

Contact the Green Valley-Sahuarita Volunteer Clearinghouse at its website: gvsvolunteering.org

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