Our mission at IMPACT Autism is to harness the incredible volunteerism of University of Florida students to give back to the autism community through quality volunteer opportunities. We seek to accomplish this through coordinating, planning and executing events for local children such as Kid's Day Out, yearly projects like PROJECT COMMUNICATE, and fundraisers such as our Autism Movie Night, but we need YOU to make it happen! So far, over 500 UF students have had the opportunity to give back through these special activities, and we seek to increase that number each year.
Requirements for Volunteering at IMPACT Autism Kid's Day Out events:
1) Background Check with the Alachua County Sheriff's Department
Because we are a nonprofit organization, this is free of charge. Email [email protected] to receive a background check form, print the form out, and bring it with you when you go to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office (2621 SE Hawthrone Rd, Gainesville, FL 32641.)
2) UF HIPAA and Confidentiality Statement
This can be found at http://privacy.health.ufl.edu. Email us once you have completed the General Awareness HIPAA, and electronically signed the Confidentiality Statement
3) Paid student member of IMPACT Autism ($15, which includes a T-Shirt).
This can be paid at any IMPACT Autism event (meeting or volunteer event), or given to the IMPACT Autism Treasurer.
IMPACT Autism Kid's Day Out Events are held at least once a month, for ALL children of ALL ages. Volunteers receive brief training and are able to participate in a hands-on experience as they play and do arts-and-crafts with their assigned child. Please see the above requirements for becoming an IMPACT Autism volunteer.
Many students volunteer with IMPACT Autism for class credit or required volunteer hours. If you are interested in doing this, please email [email protected] for more information.
MyFriends is a social group for older children and teens with autism and related disabilities run through UF's Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. They host a variety of events including socials, dances, and holiday parties. Upcoming events include a visit to Santa Fe Zoo, a Halloween Party, and a Thanksgiving Potluck! Please contact IMPACT Autism if you are interested in volunteering with this group!
UF's Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UF CARD)- The best local resource for parents and individuals with autism and related disabilities, UF CARD serves over 14,000 constituents from 14 Florida counties. You can support UF CARD by volunteering at community events they host, SibShops, office help, and by volunteering in their Visual Supports Lab. Please email us if you are interested in volunteering with UF CARD so that we can coordinate your involvement or visit UF CARD's website at http://card.ufl.edu or Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/UFCARD.
Cool2BKind hopes to give UF students the ability to work with differently abled individuals in teams that will complete community service projects around town. In coordination with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Cool2BKind hopes to provide persons with developmental disabilities the opportunity to be "on the other side" of service delivery, by completing works of community service. Please contact Susan Thiele at [email protected] for more information.
Noah's Endeavor plans community recreational events for children of all ages and abilities. Their events include Aquabilities and kickball events. You can find out more on their website, http://endeavorrecreation.wetpaint.com/.
Horses Helping People (HOPE) offers therapy sessions using horse therapy. Volunteers are needed to serve as walkers and for help around the barn. Therapy sessions are Mondays and Tuesdays from 3-5PM and Wednesdays from 2-5:30PM. If you volunteer during one of these, you will be a "side walker." No experience is needed, and if you are interested in volunteering, please email HOPE's Susan Mincey at [email protected]
Balance 180 Gymnastics Young Athletes Program is an innovative and adaptive sports program for children with intellectual disabilities and their peers who are between the ages of 2 and 7. Started by the Special olympics, the goal of the program is to introduce these children to the world of sports and help develop their motor, cognitive, social, adaptive and communications skills in an inclusive environment. If you are interested in volunteering, please e-mail [email protected]