The Wakulla News is launching what we hope will be quarterly Speed Volunteering sessions, giving members of the community the opportunity to learn about local nonprofits and what they could do to pitch in.

The inaugural event will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 14, at the Wakulla County Library in Crawfordville.

Seven area nonprofits are on the list to have tables: Big Bend Hospice, our community partner for the first this event; Random Acts; SHINE; 4-H; The Wakulla County Public Library; Wakulla Welcome Center; and the Early Learning Coalition.

Participants will spend 5 minutes with each nonprofit. The session will end with participants working to create “fidget blankets” for Big Bend Hospice.

Kara Walker, the local community engagement coordinator for BBH, has been talking to various community groups about how much having these blankets available helps calm the restless hands of Alzheimers and dementia patients.

This particular event sprouted from coffee and conversations between Kara and Nancy Floyd Richardson, ad sales rep for The Wakulla News. Kara really wanted to have a fidget blanket event. Nancy had the inkling of an idea inspired by speed networking events she has attended, where instead of making business connections, participants could connect with nonprofits.

Because grant writing is in Nancy’s wheelhouse, she found one Kara could apply for to help pay for fidget blanket supplies. And the library is graciously hosting this session free of charge.

I’m excited about the event because I have heard Kara speak about the need for fidget blankets, and Nancy and I have had a fair few conversations about the importance of getting everyone involved in community – not just in Wakulla County, but encouraging buy-in for plugging into your little corner of the world and performing acts of service to make it better, wherever you find yourself.

We hope to be able to organize speed volunteering events quarterly, highlighting a different community partner for each one. Nancy wants to offer some of these sessions after regular business hours so folks who work will have the opportunity to participate as well.

Because Nancy loves the idea of volunteering and community involvement: It’s part of the reason she wanted to come to work for The Wakulla News.

Having the first session in the morning is intended to give high-school age kids a chance to participate and get community service hours, and be convenient for retirees.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP up through our Facebook page or email nancy.richardson for information.

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