The readers’ forum

Rewarding experiences abound in community service


At Ys across the nation, more than half a million volunteers provide crucial support that strengthens our communities. Whether serving on the board of directors or tutoring students in an afterschool program and everything in between, the Y relies on the service of others to make an impact in our neighborhoods. The YMCA of Broward County relies on the help of more than 2,700 volunteers to provide a welcoming place for everyone to learn, grow and thrive.

As we look to 2014 and the challenges our communities face, it is important to start thinking about how community service not only benefits the individual who is giving back, but the community as a whole. Today, on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, the YMCA of Broward County encourages residents to honor Dr. King’s legacy by not only giving back and supporting our neighbors, but by reflecting on how each act of community service is a small part of a larger movement to make things better. A rising tide lifts all ships, and individuals dedicated to community service lift our communities.

Nonprofit organizations like the Y can help individuals find that emotional boost by providing rewarding experiences that benefit the community as a whole. That’s why this year, the Y is offering volunteer opportunities at 10 locations throughout Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Weston, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Parkland, Dania Beach and Coconut Creek. They’ll be able to make an impact, no matter the project – beautification, community garden, park clean-up or day of play for children with special needs.

Regardless of whether you give your time to the Y, your church, an animal shelter or organize an activity with your friends and neighbors, getting and staying involved in community service is what is important. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is the perfect time to get into a community service frame of mind.

Sheryl A. Woods, president and CEO, YMCA of Broward County, Fort Lauderdale

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