As we near 2022, many people decide to make resolutions. Maybe you want to lose or gain weight? Or give up a bad habit? Perhaps you want to have better luck with money. While these are good aspirations, why not decide to make a difference in your local community?
Volunteering changes lives! Let us all unite and help each other in our community! Here are some ways to step up your community involvement in Oakland Park, Fl.
The 5th Annual Oakland Park Holiday Village will be held on December 3rd and 4th at Jaco Pastorius Park. This fun-filled event will have music, entertainment, and fun activities for the whole family, including ice-skating, a snow mountain, and visits from Santa.
Sadly, this event didn’t take place last year due to the pandemic. Help people feel joy in their hearts and have fun while doing it! The City of Oakland Park needs volunteers to greet visitors, clean tables, and help set up the holiday village. For more information contact Bruce Garrison at 954-630-4502.
This is a curb appeal/home make-over program for houses that have fallen below community standards. The program assists those in need, including our beloved seniors and veterans. Operation Our Neighbor helps homeowners who may not be able to tend to their property. Homeowners in need of help may be struggling due to age, health issues, financial burden, or other unforeseen circumstances.
Volunteer residents and businesses can adopt a piece of Oakland Park by helping keep our city clean! Here are some ways to care for our city!
Help the flow of rainwater, and keep our storm drains clean. This could involve clearing leaves or picking up litter or trash. All you need are gloves, a broom and rake, and trash bags.
We want to keep our parks beautiful. Unfortunately, we need help to pick up litter in our parks. Oakland Park needs volunteers for this matter. You can sign-up and be part of the Park Cleanup Crew or volunteer as a Park Inspector.
Whether you love dogs, cats, or both, there are many opportunities to help our furry friends. Oakland Park’s Bark Park provides a place for residents to take their dogs for socialization and exercise. The City of Oakland Park has volunteer opportunities for people to help assist in Bark Park’s maintenance.
Feral Friends Program helps cats using the trap, neuter, and return approach. This “TNR” method helps reduce the number of feral cat colonies. They need volunteers to help the cats!
By now, we know you want to make a difference in your community! You may be wondering what are the requirements for becoming a volunteer. I chatted with Bruce Garrison who is the Volunteer Services Manager for the City of Oakland Park and he had some encouraging words! “All you need is a first and a last name,” Bruce responded with a smile.
Anyone over 18 is always welcome. There are also opportunities for all ages, and parental signature is required for those younger ones. Another criterion according to Bruce, is that you have to have fun at volunteer events! Volunteering is fun, and creates meaningful and lasting interactions with other people!
Bruce Garrison is an experienced volunteer coordinator, and is the current services manager for Oakland Park, Fl. He got his start by being involved with healthcare organizations up in Citrus County, Florida. He was involved in many different committees, such as those to help with Cancer, Alzheimer’s and Relay for Life.
Bruce was also a volunteer and chair member for art events and other non-profits. When he came to Oakland Park, he decided in 2012 that he wanted to organize and start volunteer programs here to help our community. We are glad to have him encourage others to see the fun and value of volunteer work!
Be sure to have in your heart the desire to help others for the rest of this year and next. Volunteering helps relieve stress, and there is no greater joy than helping other people! There are opportunities for everyone, no matter your age or current situation. Most importantly, volunteering is fun, and we wish your hearts to be filled with joy. Every person has the power to make a difference!
Megan Rebecca is a classical pianist, singer, composer, writer and music promoter. She holds a Bachelor's and Master’s Degree in Piano Performance. As a performer, Megan has played at many local venues and theaters as both a classical and contemporary performer. She has performed at clubs such as the Open Stage Club in Coral Gables, Jazid in South Beach, and has given recitals at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
Megan Rebecca is active in the music community as a performer and arts activist and has published articles on music, education and travel. She has also published a thesis comparing and contrasting the music of Disney and Japanese anime.