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The Bend Magazine

5 Best: Ways to Volunteer This Season

10/31/2019 02:31PM ● By Julieta Hernandez
By: Julieta Hernandez  Photo by: Rachel Benavides

Whether we find ourselves with sudden free time during the holiday season or just thrive on being a part of the community, the Coastal Bend provides volunteer opportunities for any fit. Volunteering isn’t just giving; it’s taking a corner of the community and making it better for the people who share it – including yourself. You can go solo, or rally a group of friends or family to create meaningful experiences for everyone around you by getting your hands a little dirty and potentially learning a new skill. Here are the five best (of many) volunteer opportunities in our backyard.

ADOPT-A-BEACH BEACH CLEANUPS 

Although a sweater might be a good beach accessory this time of year, beach clean-ups take place year-round. Living by the coast makes this an important calling for us: creating and living in cleaner beaches. Since the program started in the ’80s, volunteers have picked up more than 9,000 tons of trash...which otherwise would’ve accumulated. To participate, find the next round-up (or register to start your own) at glo.texas.gov under the Adopt-A-Beach tab. 

H-E-B FEAST OF SHARING 

Nothing makes us feel warmer than the food we cook together, and our neighborhood grocery chain keeps the tradition every year. It comes right before Christmas on Dec. 21st, so anyone who isn’t going out of town for the holidays has a chance to brush up on their cooking for a community cause. Every year, this tradition feeds thousands of people and brings even thousands more closer through the volunteering experience. For more info about volunteering, inquire at your local H-E-B store or at HEB.com. 

CASA OF THE COASTAL BEND 

Investing in the future means investing in our children; that’s why CASA advocates for them, and invites volunteers who aim for the same thing. There are plenty of children who would bene t from a CASA volunteer, and by learning about and working closely with a child, the impact you’ll have on their life will be tremendous. At casaforchildren.org, you can learn about the process and get started on your application. 

GROW LOCAL LEARNING GARDEN 

Over at the Learning Garden, building access to homegrown foods is how hands in the soil contribute to the community. The garden is open weekly to volunteers who want to dip their toes in the soil, as well as event volunteers for their Farmer’s Market and Farm to Table events. To grow a passion for locally grown food, get in touch with the Learning Garden on their GROW Local South Texas Facebook page. 

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY 

A helper at Habitat for Humanity will be a part of giving somebody in our community a place to go home to. Because of willing volunteers, building stable and a affordable houses can be done in a short amount of time with a fun group of people, and you may and some hammering and carpentry skills useful in life. To volunteer by yourself or with a group, head to corpuschristih.org/volunteer/ for more information.