Tallahassee holds volunteerism day

More than 500 volunteers will unite to help more than 30 non-profit organizations Feb. 23 during the city-wide event Make a Difference Tallahassee.

The event will give people the chance to serve the community in a day. Volunteers have the choice of helping in many areas, including animal care, children and homeless shelters. Although this event gives more people the opportunity to help out, there is a greater goal. Jeri Bush, director of VolunteerLEON, said the event will also serve as a recruitment tool for these organizations.

“It gives over 500 people a snapshot view of what non-profit agencies do in the community,” Bush said. “The goal is for community members to become interested in helping one of these organizations long term.”

Bush said this year he is pleased because VolunteerLEON has partnered with Hands On Tallahassee.

One of the participating organizations is the PACE Center for Girls. The special project volunteers at PACE will help build a terrace with picnic tables.

Jacquelyn Ledbetter, special projects manager at PACE, said the terrace will serve as a place of recreation for the girls.

“Our space is very limited, and we are over capacity with the number of girls we have,” she said. “It will be nice to have that extra space.”

Ledbetter said the new terrace will have a great impact on the girls.

“We have a picnic table, but it’s very badly battered,” Ledbetter said. “They will have something that looks more like a yard where the girls can go and eat lunch.”

Not only are the organizations eager for help, the volunteers are also excited.

Jamillah Cherry, 20, a junior animal science student from Oakland, Calif., said she is looking forward to working with Make a Difference Tallahassee.

“Serving is very important, and because I am blessed I want to share with other people. This event allows me to do that.”

The event lasts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and begins at the Oglesby Union Ballroom at Florida State University. For more information and to register visit http://www.serve2learn.fsu.edu.