One of the great things about Miami is the abundance of things to do. Virtually any sport, interest, or pleasure is covered. In addition to helping the community, a person can volunteer, have a good time, and lessen the cost of a favorite activity.
A proud greyhound owner, I love to show pictures to everyone of their wonderful antics. One day, when a friend asked “What’s wrong with all those dogs? They are just lying around sleeping!!” And that’s what I love about greyhounds-when they are not racing their gorgeous bodies around outside they are couch potatoes and their favorite pastime is sleeping on a huge soft bed. I’ve let my retired racing greyhound participate AKC events as an amateur, but lately I like to spoil him by taking him to volunteer with the other greyhounds at Friendsofgreyhounds.org in Hialeah.
Friends of greyhounds is a group dedicated to placing retired racing dogs in their forever homes. They have open house every weekend from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the grounds of the Hialeah track. They need adult and student volunteers to walk and play with dogs and for everything from bookkeeping to donating artwork to driving dogs to new homes to helping organize fundraising events. Hunter the greyhound’s job is to show everyone what a wonderful dog he is so his friends can get adopted.
Hunter’s mom, being me, likes to run too. I started with famous Raven who runs eight miles a day on South Beach, and soon graduated to marathons and an ultra running community – a group specializing in extreme long distance running. These groups focus on living a healthy lifestyle, achieving and exceeding goals both in sports and in life. The events can be expensive, ranging from 40 for a shorter race to 90 and up for a marathon, but most will give free or reduced entry in return for volunteering. Volunteers can man water stations, keep a timeclock , cheer runners, or clean up. Ultra marathoners need someone to deliver electrolytes, food, water and to ensure the safety of the sponsored runner. They are called “crew.”
Many of these events also sponsor good causes, like the ACS Relay for Life in Weston on April 14 where you will see quite a few ultra runners. (Florida Ultra Runner,(www.facebook.com/groups/182813188445060) Rock N Roll marathon series has raised 266 million through various charity partners since 1998. (runrocknroll.competitor.com)
Some great places to start looking for the perfect www.miaminewtimes.com/events/category/volunteer-opportunities-6353, www.genesiszoological.org, or volunteermatch.org, ravenrun.net, or google your favorite activity.