Evaluate your Medicare benefits for free in Charlotte County

Medicare can be a daunting subject for most people, and the Open Enrollment Period only runs through Dec. 7. Fortunately, experts from the SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) are available to provide free, unbiased, one-one-one counseling. Medicare beneficiaries can lean on these valuable local experts for advice.

SHINE is a program of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and is operated locally through the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL). Specially-trained SHINE counselors help educate and empower Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to understand their health care options so they can make the best decisions for their individual needs.

SHINE will offer several opportunities for drop-in Medicare counseling in Charlotte County during the open enrollment period. Drop-in counseling will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis at the following open enrollment events, which are open to the public, with no appointments needed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 5 at First United Methodist Church, 507 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda and Nov. 14 at Mid-County Regional Library, 2050 Forrest Nelson Blvd., Port Charlotte. Beneficiaries are asked to bring their Medicare card and a list of prescription drugs with dosage.

SHINE counseling is also available by appointment year-round in Charlotte County. To receive help from SHINE, individuals may call to schedule appointments at designated SHINE counseling sites, attend enrollment events in their local communities, or arrange to speak with a trained SHINE counselor at 1-866-413-5337 For a listing of SHINE counseling sites and enrollment events, please visit www.floridashine.org.

Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s

• North Port JFCS Care Partner Connection with Carolyn Stephens, LCSW (Open Forum and Sharing) and Parkinson’s Power Hour with Karla Brody, MSSW; Neuro Challenge Foundation: North Port, 5600 Peace River Road, North Port, from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 24.

• Venice Movers and Shakers PD Discussion Group: “Solutions for Swallowing” with Mary Spremulli, SLP; Jacaranda Public Library, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 25.

• Punta Gorda Parkinson’s Support Group: “Care Partners and PwP Breakout groups; Punta Gorda Civic Association, 2001 Shreve St., Punta Gorda, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 26.

C.A.R.E. Auxiliary luncheon planned

The C.A.R.E. Auxiliary Society of Charlotte County is excited to announce its upcoming luncheon at noon on Oct. 23. This is the fifth year Doug Amaral has so graciously hosted our event at the River City Grill, 131 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda. Over the years our luncheon has been one of the Auxiliary’s most popular events featuring our C.A.R.E “Baskets” so creatively and generously donated by our members. Everyone is invited. Cost is $25 and checks should be made to the C.A.R.E. Auxiliary Society, P.O. Box 496566, Port Charlotte, FL 33949-6566. For reservations and additional information, contact the event chair, Susan Klein, at 941-380-3186 or susanklein10@gmail.com.

‘More Than Weight Loss’

Join Chrisanna Harrington, Dietitian and Counselor for a discussion on “more than weight loss.” Understand how the food we eat can impact our health and cognition. She explains why people crave sweets, have difficulty losing weight and start to have “brain fog” in their 40’s and 50’s. Anyone who is thinking about dieting, weight loss surgery or has been advised by their doctor to lose weight should hear this lecture, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 at 252 West Marion Ave., Punta Gorda. For more information or to reserve your seat, call 941-787-3525.

Fall Festival planned

Village Place Health & Rehabilitation Center, 2370 Harbor Blvd., Port Charlotte, will host a Fall Festival from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 25. Food trucks, vendors, trick or treating, petting zoo, live music and much more. For more information, call 941-624-5966.

Speaker Series: Helping Happiness – What it takes to FLOURISH!

As part of the National Speakers’ Series, Lee Health is pleased to present Dr. Darren Morton’s Helping Happiness — What it takes to FLOURISH!

The intent of positive psychology is to scientifically understand and promote thriving individuals, families and communities, in order to make ‘normal‘ lives more fulfilling. Dr. Darren Morton will explore the five domains of flourishing.

Dr. Darren Morton is an internationally recognized Lifestyle Medicine expert, certified by the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine. He is the author of over 50 publications in scientific journals and has written three books, including Live More Happy. Dr. Morton is a popular presenter and has presented to hundreds of audiences around the world.

The free talk is open to the public and will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 25, at the First Christian Church, 2061 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers.

Please RSVP for tickets to: SpeakerSeriesRSVP@LeeHealth.org. Seating is limited and reservations are required. If you have questions or want more information, call 239-424-3234.

Hope Parkinson Program

Registration is open and seats are available for the Hope Parkinson Program Fall Forum “Medical Treatments for Parkinson’s Disease” on Oct. 26, at Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower Shops.

The forum will feature fellowship-trained neurologist and movement disorder specialist Dr. Heather Herrema, who will present “Parkinson’s Disease Medication Off Episodes” and “Surgical and Medical Treatment Options for PD.” A Q&A session will follow.

Check-in and exhibits begin at 8:30 a.m.; program begins at 9 a.m. $10 per person includes beverages, a light breakfast and valet parking. Seating is limited and preregistration is required by Oct. 19. Register online at https://donate.hopehcs.org/FallForum or call Michelle Martin at 239-985-7727.

Free vision and hearing screening

The Punta Gorda Lions Club and the Eagles Aerie 3296 are hosting a free screening clinic from 9 a.m. to noon on Oct. 27, at the Eagles Aerie located at the corner of Kings Highway and Harborview Boulevard in Port Charlotte. The clinic will feature vision screening, hearing screening and blood sugar screening. Based on the results of individual tests, recommendations will be made as to additional testing. This event is open to the public and provided as a free public service by the Lions and Eagles. For more information, call 941-637-9979.

Babcock Ranch to host Trick or Trot 5K

Babcock Ranch, Southwest Florida’s eco-centric, solar-powered town just northeast of Fort Myers on Babcock Ranch Road/State Road 31, is hosting the Trick or Trot 5K race at 8 a.m. on Oct. 27. Registration begins race day at 7 a.m. The scenic, flat 5K course leads runners through Sunset Park and finishes in Founder’s Square, next to Lake Babcock. Food and drinks will be available at the finish line. A 9:30 a.m. awards ceremony will recognize the overall winner, masters, senior masters, senior grandmasters, and three deep in each five-year increment age group. For more information and to register online before race day, visit www.BabcockRanch.com/events.

Annual Tour de North Port

The 9th Annual Tour de North Port, “It’s the Green Pumpkin!,” that will take place at 7 a.m. on Oct. 28, at Imagine High School, 2575 Sycamore St., North Port. A fundraiser event sponsored by People for Trees, a nonprofit native tree advocacy group since 1997, the Tour de North Port is not a race but an organized bicycle ride where cyclists follow a 15, 35, or 65-mile route through North Port that highlights the city’s parks and natural settings. The ride includes breakfast, lunch, rest stops, and SAG support. Advance registration is $40 (www.peoplefortrees.com) or $45 at door. For more information, contact Alice White at 941-426-9752 or email treelady12001@yahoo.com.

‘Country for a Cause’

Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic will present “Country for a Cause 2018,” at 6 p.m. on Nov. 2. Live “boot-scootin” music by the Florida Cracker Boys, down home country meal (Leroy’s, Punta Gorda), cash bar, lots of games, auction items and prizes.

Dress casual country and come to the Charlotte Country Fairgrounds, Expo Hall, 2333 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte for an evening of fun that will also raise funds for a great cause. The VBA Clinic provides no-cost volunteer medical, pharmacy and wellness services to the under-served in Charlotte County, Florida. Visit www.VolunteerCare.NET to purchase tickets for $85 per person or sponsor a table of 10 seats at $1,000). For more information, call Robin Bayne at 941- 276-1668. Also, check out the first annual Amazing Nissan Truck Raffle for $200 per ticket for a chance to win a 2018 Nissan Titan King Cab truck. Only 250 tickets will be sold. Tickets are available at www.VolunteerCare.NET. Drawing will be held at 8 p.m. at the event. (You do not have to be present to win.)

‘Fashion to a Tea’

The Guardian ad Litem Foundation will play host to “Fashion to a Tea” from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 7, at Twin Isles Country Club, 301 Madrid Blvd., Punta Gorda. Tickets are $35 per person and includes a high tea luncheon, silent auction items for bid and fun surprises. Fashion show by Anthony’s. Hats are welcome, but not required. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 941-613-3233 or visit voicesforkids.org.

Englewood Lions Club to host flea market

Englewood Lions Club on 4611 Placida Road, Englewood, will be hosting its Flea Market starting the second Sunday of every month from November through March from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Inside tables are available for $20 each. Vendor spots outside are available for $15 each. For more information, call Diane at 941-681-2161.

Health Extravaganza scheduled

Fawcett Memorial Hospital is hosting a free Health Extravaganza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 8, at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center, 75 Taylor St., Punta Gorda. It will include screenings, inflatable heart and brain exhibits, hands-only CPR demonstrations, stroke risk assessments, healthy cooking demos, mini doc talks and hands on education from experts in joint, spine and cardiac, physical therapy and more. Reservations are recommended, call 941-624-4441 to register.

Twins Tot Walk & 5K

The Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte Bridge Twins Tot Walk will be held on Nov. 11, at Laishley Park, 120 Laishley Park, Punta Gorda. Registration begins at 4 p.m. with a 5 p.m. vigil and walk immediately following. Strollers welcome on the Walk. Teams are encouraged but not necessary. For more information, visit runsignup.com/Race/Events/FL/PuntaGorda/TwinsWalk5K.

Charlotte Prostate Support Group meeting

The Charlotte Prostate Support Group will meet from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 16, at the Fawcett Hospital H2U facility located 3280 Tamiami Trail, Suite #493, Port Charlotte. The speaker will be Dr. Marc Melser, M.D., a long time Urologist in Port Charlotte. A cancer diagnosis is not required for attendance, many of our members have other prostate issues. We try to present an open, casual, environment to discuss any prostate concern. Women are cordially invited to attend and participate. Refreshments and room provided by Fawcett Memorial Hospital. There will be no meeting in December and our speaker Jan. 18 will be Dr. Ivor Percent, M.D., Oncologist from Florida Cancer Specialists.

Bucs on the Run 5K Run/Walk

The annual Bucs on the Run 5K run and fun walk will be held on Feb. 23. Proceeds benefit the student activities account. Register early for a discounted rate and try to be one of the first 200 to register to receive an official run day long sleeve dry-fit shirt. Registration by Feb. 28 is $25 for adults, $25 youth (under 18). Day of race is $30 adults/$25 youth. Registration is from 7 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Race start at 8 a.m. Register at www.runsignup.com. For more information, contact Coach Winkler at gwinkler@fsw.edu.

American Cancer Society seeks participation in Relay For Life of Charlotte County

American Cancer Society is calling on all community members to participate in the annual Relay For Life of Charlotte County on April 6, at Laishley Park. Be part of the fight, and together we can beat our biggest rival. American Cancer Society is seeking volunteers to form teams and stand shoulder to shoulder with us and cancer patients and those supporting them.

Founded by Dr. Gordy Klatt in Washington in 1985, the Relay For Life movement unites communities across the globe to celebrate people who have been touched by cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action for lifesaving change. Symbolizing the battle waged around the clock by those facing cancer, the event can last up to 24 hours and empowers communities to take a stand against cancer.

This year, an estimated 1.3 million people in the U.S. will participate in more than 2,000 events to help the American Cancer Society attack cancer in dozens of ways, each of them critical to achieving a world without cancer — from developing breakthrough therapies to building supportive communities, from providing empowering resources to deploying activists to raise awareness. Funds raised support the American Cancer Society 24/7 cancer help line and free rides to chemo. By joining the Relay For Life event, you can help attack cancer from every angle. To learn more about Relay For Life, and register a team, visit RelayForLife.org/charlottecountyfl.

ONGOING Hope PACE seeking Port Charlotte volunteers

Do you have a caring heart and time to share? Hope PACE, a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly that helps aging adults live independently in our community, is seeking volunteers for its Port Charlotte Care Center.

Volunteers may be asked to talk and socialize with individuals in Hope’s care, organize fun games and activities, assist with crafts or special projects, help with meals and snacks, or offer administrative support to on-site staff.

Before helping at the Hope PACE Care Center, volunteers will receive an in-depth orientation session. Volunteers must be at least 14 years or older. Call 239-415-7217 or visit www.HopeHCS.org/volunteer for more information about volunteer opportunities.

To learn more about Hope Healthcare programs, including Hope Kids Care, Hope PACE, Hope Palliative Care and the Hope Parkinson Program, call 239-482-4673 or visit www.HopeHCS.org.

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte / Punta Gorda Volunteers needed

Do you love helping others, serving and giving back to people in need? Make a difference in the lives of patients, families and visitors and become a volunteer at Bayfront Health Port Charlotte / Punta Gorda.

We are recruiting volunteers for many different positions, including: care ambassadors, couriers, front desk information, nursing support, clerical volunteers, departure services, emergency room volunteers, and golf cart drivers.

If you have four hours per week to share with others, please call 941-637-2570 for more information.

Hope PACE seeking volunteers

Do you have a caring heart and time to share? Hope PACE, a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly that helps aging adults live independently in our community, is seeking volunteers for its Port Charlotte Care Center.

Volunteers may be asked to talk and socialize with individuals in Hope’s care, organize fun games and activities, assist with crafts or special projects, help with meals and snacks, or offer administrative support to on-site staff.

Before helping at the Hope PACE Care Center, volunteers will receive an in-depth orientation session. Volunteers must be at least 14 years or older. Call 239-415-7217 or visit www.HopeHCS.org/volunteer for more information about volunteer opportunities.

To learn more about Hope Healthcare programs, including Hope Kids Care, Hope PACE, Hope Palliative Care and the Hope Parkinson Program, call 239-482-4673 or visit www.HopeHCS.org.

LOUD Crowd classes

The LOUD Crowd classes meet every Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Universal Fitness, 1544 Rio De Janeiro Ave, Punta Gorda. No fee. New member are requested to contact 941-204-1515 prior to attending for the first time.

The LOUD Crowd is a weekly speech class for individuals with Parkinson’s disease who have previously undergone speech therapy. For more information contact Mary Spremulli, at 941-204-1515 or email info@voiceaerobicsdvd.com.

Voice Aerobics class

Sponsored by Neurochallenge Foundation for Parkinson’s, Voice Aerobics with Mary Spremulli is held the fourth Thursday of the month from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Peace River Presbyterian Center, 5600 Peace River Road, North Port. Voice Aerobics is a whole body voice strengthening program combining voice practice with movement. The class provides education about speech and voice changes associated with Parkinson’s, an introduction to vocal function exercises, and a setting for social interaction, support, and communication. There is no fee for classes.

No prior speech therapy is required to join, and classes will focus on: vocal function exercise, speech practice, and methods to improve communication for people living with Parkinson’s. To learn more, call 941-204-1515.

Monthly Tobacco Cessation Seminars

Englewood Community Hospital offers free monthly tobacco cessation seminars. The Tools to Quit program will provide information about the effects of tobacco use, the benefits of quitting, and will assist you in developing your own quit plan. Quitting tobacco isn’t easy, but finding help should be. With the new Quit Your Way program, the Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida program is making it easier for tobacco users in the state to access the free and proven-effective resources available to all Floridians. They have expanded their resources offering tobacco users interested in quitting access to free tools, including a starter kit of nicotine replacement patches, Text2Quit, email tips and a quit guide.

Englewood Community Hospital offers the Group Quit seminars on the third Wednesday of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Englewood Community Hospital cafeteria conference room. If you or a loved one is ready to quit your way, please register by calling 866-534-7909.

‘Minding Our Elders’

Join Karen Hallenbeck, Senior Living Advisor, Writer, Executive Director and Host of “Minding Our Elders,” is on the air at 11 a.m. every other Monday on WCCF 1580am.

Seventeen years as an Executive Director of Assisted Living Memory Care Communities has given Karen the expertise and empathy to assist families in their journey through senior living. Topics on “Minding Our Elders” will include how to choose the “right” community for your loved one, transitioning at a community, what legal issues should be completed, common questions about placement or how families can endure the emotional impact of caring for their loved one.

You can share your story or make comments during the show by calling in at 941-206-1580 or go to www.wccfam.com for the “Minding Our Elders” blog.

Diabetes/diet classes

Dr. John Janick/Map Weight Loss provides free diabetic teaching the third Friday of every month, a free diet cooking class the third Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. every month, and a free blood pressure and diabetic chocolate the third Thursday of every month from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For more information or to set up a appointment, call 941-629-3366.

Free bike rides

Free bicycle rides are offered at 8:30 a.m. every Saturday. All riders are welcome. Helmet is required. The rides depart from Acme Bicycle Shop, 615 Cross St., Suite 1116, Punta Gorda. For more information, call 941-639-2263

Friendship Centers need volunteers in North Port

The Friendship Centers currently has a volunteer opening for Friendship at Home Volunteers in North Port. The Friendship at Home program matches volunteers with isolated seniors through telephone reassurance, the friendly visitor program and supportive intervention. Volunteers go through a background check and screening process. Training is provided.

If you enjoy working with older adults and would be interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Robert Rogers at rrogers@friendshipcenters.org or 941-556-3223.

SHINE seeks volunteers

The SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program is currently recruiting volunteers to help Medicare beneficiaries in Charlotte County. SHINE is a free, unbiased Medicare and health insurance information, counseling, and assistance program whose specially-trained volunteers assist seniors in making informed health care decisions.

Currently, the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida supports more than 50 dedicated SHINE volunteers who provide services to aged and disabled Medicare beneficiaries, their caregivers, and families. However, as the number of Medicare beneficiaries needing assistance increases, the need for volunteers increases, too.

A SHINE volunteer can serve in many different capacities. Volunteers provide Medicare and health insurance information, counseling and assistance in person or over the phone, delivers educational presentations or speeches, distributes educational and promotional materials in your community, provides training and leadership to other volunteers, or assists with general program support. Assignments are matched to the skills and interests of each volunteer.

The Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida supports its volunteers through a network of paid staff and volunteer coordinators. The Department of Elder Affairs provides training and technical assistance. Volunteers also receive local mentoring and support from the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida.

The rewards for volunteer service are plentiful. Since the Program’s inception in 1993, SHINE volunteers have helped Florida elders and their caregivers save millions of dollars, and they have brought peace of mind to those who needed guidance in understanding and accessing health insurance options.

To inquire about volunteer opportunities or to request SHINE services in your community, contact the local Elder Helpline toll-fee a 1-866-413-5337. For more information, you may also call 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337), or visit us online at www.floridashine.org.

Blood pressure

Free blood pressure screenings are available from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County, 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte.

Knock out Parkinson’s

This boxing program improves strength, fitness, hand-eye coordination, balance and agility aimed at helping Parkinson’s patients. Taught by a certified USA Boxing coach, the program is offered from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Mondays and Wednesdays and from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays at Charlotte Harbor Boxing Club (24710 Sandhill Blvd, Unit 803, near the Kings Highway exit of Interstate 75). Space is limited. Call 239-292-9230, www.parkinsonsneurochallenge.org/ or www.facebook.com/CharlotteHarborBoxingGymnasium/ for more information.

Boxing for Parkinson’s patients

Now in Port Charlotte, the newest affiliate of the national organization, Rock Steady Boxing, offers positive progress through physical activity to people with Parkinson’s. Male and female adults with similarly matching assessments fill the classes at 1770 El Jobean Road. Dawn Holt, accredited Rock Steady Boxing affiliate, conducts classes five days a week. Each class features generous individual attention supported by Holt’s RSB accreditation, her OAS degree and her eight-year profession as personal trainer.

For class information or assessment, call 941-661-6762 or visit rocksteadyboxing.org.

Mental health program

Venice United Church of Christ is sponsoring a series of informational programs, on the fourth Thursday of the month, on the subject of mental health issues. The public is invited and there is no charge. Plan to join us in Naar Hall on the church campus at 620 Shamrock Blvd., Venice. For additional information contact the church office at 941-493-6741.

Eye, ear care

The four Lions Clubs in the area offer eye exams, eye glasses and uninsured surgeries to prevent blindness in individuals with vision impairments. Those living in Punta Gorda can contact Bill Ringelstein at 941-637-9979; those in Port Charlotte can contact Terri Smith at 941-391-1203; in Englewood, contact Gary Nieskes at 941-786-7778; and in North Port contact Penny Gregrich at 941-740-2860.

The Punta Gorda Lions Foundation has received funding to provide hearing exams and hearing aids to those anywhere in Charlotte County who need assistance with hearing problems. To determine eligibility, please contact Bill Ringelstein, Punta Gorda Lions at 941-637-9979.

Respite care

Join “A Special Place” a Burnt Store Presbyterian Church program for seniors and those with memory loss. This group respite program offers high quality day care for Alzheimer’s and other dementia clients while providing necessary time off for their caregivers. The program is held from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. every Thursday (except holidays) at Burnt Store Presbyterian Church, 11330 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda

Volunteers are always welcome. Please contact us if you would like to get more information on how to become a volunteer.

Donations of craft materials, games, videos and other program supplies are always appreciated. Donations can be made at the church office.

For more information contact the church office at 941-639-0001 during normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by e-mail to office@bspconline.org.

Online parenting class

Bayfront Baby Place at Bayfront Health Port Charlotte recently expanded its offering of educational resources for new parents. During their stay at Bayfront Baby Place, new moms (and dads) have been able to enjoy educational programming in their room on the television network, The Newborn Channel. Now, patients can also access this programming online and on mobile devices.

The Newborn Channel offers several informative programs on topics such as newborn, infant, and mom care, siblings and family life, and work-life balance.

For more information on how to access The Newborn Channel online programming, call 941-637-2497.

Pulmonary diet nutrition class

A free pulmonary diet nutrition class will take place from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. the second Tuesday of every month at the Wellness & Rehabilitation Center, 733 E. Olympia Ave., Punta Gorda. Seating is limited so call 941-637-2497 to register.

Cardiac diet nutrition class

A free cardiac diet nutrition class will be held at 9 a.m. on the first and third Tuesday of every month at the Wellness & Rehabilitation Center, 733 E. Olympia Ave., Punta Gorda. Registration is required by calling 941-637-2497.

CHAT forums

The Englewood Community Health Action Team meets at 9 a.m. the third Thursday of each month at the Englewood United Methodist Church, 700 E. Dearborn St., Englewood. The meetings allow social services, nonprofits and churches to network.

VOLUNTEER Volunteer coaches and leaders needed for Health and Wellness classes

The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL) is seeking volunteers to lead health and wellness workshops across the region. AAASWFL offers workshops to assist adults age 60 and over, adults with disabilities and their caregivers in seven counties: Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Sarasota.

Volunteers have the opportunity to lead fitness workshops focused on the unique needs of older adults. Specifically, these workshops are designed to teach older adults preventative measures to avoid falls, improve their balance, and manage chronic conditions. Classes include Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention, A Matter of Balance, Walk With Ease, the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, and Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance. Training is provided for these programs, and AAASWFL provides mileage reimbursement for volunteers. Workshops are typically held on weekday mornings and afternoons, so volunteers with flexible schedules are appreciated. Volunteers should also be at least 18 years of age, have a valid drivers’ license, and must be able to pass a background screening. While not mandatory, experience with teaching, instruction, public speaking, health care, nutrition or community outreach is helpful.

Potential volunteers may contact Sherry Young, AAASWFL Health & Wellness Coordinator, at 239-652-6900 or sherry.young@aaaswfl.org for more information. Volunteer applications can also be found at the AAASWFL website: www.aaaswfl.org.

Volunteers needed at Bayfront Health

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte welcomes adult volunteers to greet visitors at the front information desk and drive the courtesy tram. Volunteers receive free flu shots, luncheons, and a complimentary meal for every four-hour shift. Volunteers can apply online at www.bayfrontcharlotte.com/about/volunteer-opportunities, fill out an application found at front desk, or call 941-637-2570 for more information.

Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies

Volunteers are an essential part of C.A.R.E., assisting victims of crimes, answering hotline calls, conducting hospital responses, and in fundraising endeavors. If interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact 941-639-5499 for more information.

Charlotte County Meals on Wheels needs volunteers

Volunteers are needed to help distribute meals to Charlotte County residents who are unable to prepare nutritious meals for themselves. The organization is in need of volunteer drivers to deliver these meals from Monday through Friday. A volunteer driver may volunteer once a week, once every other week, or once a month. The delivery routes are in the Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte areas. To volunteer to deliver meals, call 941-625-4343.

Homeless Coalition

Homeless Coalition: Drivers for Veterans Program. Scheduling will be in advance and as needed; volunteers needed to help with eBay store; kitchen help from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday; front desk help in the office of the shelter, 9 a.m. to noon; Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; front desk help in the main office, 9 a.m. to noon and noon to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; filing help from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; administrative assistant help in the shelter from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; homework tutors from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; garage sale workers on the second and fourth Friday of every month; shelter case managers are needed. Twenty volunteers to help with a Homeless Simulation Training. Donation pick- up, one evening weekly in Port Charlotte. For more information, call or email Robin Clark, Volunteer Coordinator, at 941-627-4313, ext. 109, Robin.Clark@cchomelesscoalition.org.

Pregnancy Careline Center

Pregnancy Careline Center seeks both female and male volunteers to assist Charlotte County citizens who have an unexpected or otherwise stressed pregnancy. Volunteers are needed in a variety of areas. For more information, call 941-625-5576 or www.pregnancycareline.org.

Special Olympics seeks volunteers

Special Olympics Charlotte County is looking for volunteers and coaches for a wonderful group of athletes. The organization is looking for coaches for swimming, golf, power lifting, softball and bowling. This does not have to be full time; any time you can volunteer would be greatly appreciated. For more information, email info@specialolympicscharlotte.org, or call 941-391-6906.


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