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Volunteer Opportunities

Whether you want to read to children, mentor at-risk youth, help families manage their finances or volunteer at our community’s 24-hour referral helpline, the United Way can connect you to a wide range of local volunteer opportunities. Review the following list to find the opportunity that’s right for you and get in touch. We look forward to connecting with you!

Youth Success

Read to 4-Year-Olds

ReadingPalsPassionate, committed, caring volunteers are needed to help four-year-olds in our community get ready for kindergarten. ReadingPals visit pairs of children in preschool classrooms one hour a week to share books, engage in conversation and play games focused on concepts like letters, colors and shapes. Volunteers meet with the same children each week. Not only do ReadingPals help build essential skills, they provide the individual attention many children need to thrive. Learn more about ReadingPals.

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Mentor an At-Risk Student

Achievers For LifeAchievers For Life is a research-based dropout prevention strategy that provides support to 6th grade students who are at risk of failing academically. AFL mentors meet with their student one hour each week during the school year to tutor, set goals and engage the child in conversation. Learn more about Achievers For Life.

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Financial Stability

Help Families Manage Their Finances

RealSenseRealSense has a wide variety of volunteering opportunities available. If you have an interest in finance, we have a way for you to apply your passion and skills to help families in your community become more financially stable. Volunteer areas include tax preparation, client greeting, financial education, outreach, and more! Learn more about RealSense.

Tax Preparer

A person who will be trained by the IRS, AARP Tax-Aide or Benefit Bank to learn limited tax law and prepare taxes via a computer-based program. This volunteer effort gives individuals a useful life skill and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of fellow citizens. There are three different tax preparer opportunities:

VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) – Training will be 18-20 hours and will require passing an open-book IRS certification test plus working practice exercises. Volunteers will be asked to donate at least 40 hours between Jan. 15 and April 15. VITA sites serve all families. RealSense operates VITA sites in the following counties: Duval, St. Johns, Nassau, Clay, Baker and Putnam. For more information on becoming a VITA Tax Preparer, contact Steve Norris or call 904-390-3250.

AARP Tax-Aide – Training will be 40 hours and require passing an open-book IRS certification test plus working practice exercises. Volunteers will be asked to donate 40 hours between Feb. 1 and April 15. Tax-Aide sites serve all low-to-middle income families. While helping people of all ages, Tax-Aide sites offer special attention to those 60 years of age and older. Tax-Aide sites are located in Duval, St. Johns, Flagler, Bradford and Putnam counties. To learn more about volunteering with AARP, contact Marilyn Clark, district coordinator. 

Benefit Bank Counselor – Benefit Bank counselors prepare simple tax returns and may also assist clients with applying online for certain public benefits. Training will be approximately 6-8 hours and requires passing an online examination. Volunteers will be asked to donate 30 hours between January 15 and April 15. Benefit Bank sites serve low-to-middle income families with a total family income of $50,000 or less.

Financial Educator

A financial educator leads free financial workshops for Northeast Florida community members who are eager to learn how to make better money management decisions. Financial workshops are based on a variety of non-commercial curricula, including FDIC Money Smart. All certified financial educators must attend an orientation and observe 2 workshops prior to teaching a class and commit to teach a pre-determined amount of workshops throughout a 12-month period. For more information, please contact Kim Ouellette at 904-390-3276.

Outreach Specialist

These volunteers help fill speaking requests by local businesses or organizations. Outreach helps educate and promote all services offered through RealSense. After a 2-hour training, outreach specialists will receive e-mail requests for various speaking engagements and participation in community events. Volunteers only respond to the events they would like to help cover. All volunteers are provided with marketing materials/giveaways for any events in which they participate. For more information, please contact Kim Ouellette at 904-390-3276.

Client Greeter

This person greets taxpayers as they enter a free tax preparation site. Their tasks are to: greet taxpayers and sign them in, review taxpayers’ paperwork to make certain they have all necessary documents, and keep the waiting room running smoothly. This position is also responsible for administering assessment tools to help determine what additional financial related services taxpayers are interested in and how to access them. Time commitment includes at least 2.5 hours of training and at least 30 hours of volunteer time between January 15 and April 15. For more information on becoming a Client Greeter, please contact Steve Norris or call 904-390-3250.

VITA Tax Site Coordinator

The lead person at a tax preparation location. Two years recent experience as a VITA Tax Preparer is required. Time commitment includes annual training and certification, site coordinator training (4 hours) and between 100 and 400 hours of site support and coordination from approximately January 15 – April 18. Site coordinators will also:

  • Help recruit tax preparer volunteers and client greeters
  • Be trained on tax law and how to manage a tax site and volunteers
  • Manage the process and operations during tax preparation
  • Track and report volunteer work hours
  • Manage supplies inventory

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Connect Callers to Assistance

2-1-12-1-1 is our community’s 24-hour information and referral helpline, and also serves as our community’s suicide intervention hotline. Volunteers are needed to follow up with callers for quality of assurance and effectiveness of referrals. Training is provided. Learn more about 2-1-1.

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Community Impact Fund Investment Volunteer

Volunteers help allocate funds to programs successfully addressing education, income, and health issues in Northeast Florida. The commitment is 40-50 hours concentrated during the months of September through November and March through May. Donors who currently give to United Way’s Community Impact Fund are eligible to serve on this committee. Training is provided.

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