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Episode 9: Volunteerism Notes


What is SpelLife? A nonprofit organization run by volunteers. Our mission is really to help people be well and stay well through bringing awareness to resources and connecting people locally. We look at all dimensions of wellness to MASTER YOUR LIFE.

What are these dimensions? Spiritual, Physical, Environment, Leisure, Local, Intellectual, Financial and Emotional. The first letter of each: SPELLIFE.

How do you measure where you’re at with all these dimensions of Wellness? Blue Zones developed an application that helps you measure the different areas of wellness in your being:

  • The Real Age Test: 

  • Looks at all areas of wellness and gives you your “real age”

  • Asks about blood pressure, cholesterol, exercise, eating, social networking, etc.

  • The app can combine with any tracker that you’re already using and connects you with resources to help where you may need it

How can volunteering help your health?

  • One of those things where both parties get benefit

  • By volunteering, we’re helping an individual/organization but also helping our own health

  • Studies show that volunteering:

    • Improves blood pressure

    • Improves self-worth

    • Reduces depression and isolation

    • Improved sense community and belonging

    • Increased endorphins

    • Helps with recover

    • Helps with mindfulness

    • Inspirational

Pace Center for Girls: our selected charity to support with the SPELLIFE Event (2022)

  • Vision: A world where all girls and young women have POWER, in a JUST and EQUITABLE society.

  • Mission: Pace provides girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training, and advocacy.

Jill and Gaynell Interview Sharon Tolnai, Development Manager at Collier Pace Center for Girls

  • “Find the Great in Every Girl”

    • This is our purpose

    • The girls coming in have experienced trauma, may not have received the needed care and empathy

    • We embrace and love them!

  • Talk a little about the program

    • Collier center started in 1998

    • Work in achieving both the academics and the therapy and counseling

    • Girls come from a variety of sources:

      • Juvenile justice system

      • Come from high school if not succeeding

      • Word of mouth/family references

    • Need for emphasis on positive opportunity

    • Currently a rolling program

      • Girls can be with us for up to 3 years

      • Typically start with about 18 months

  • Talk a little about life skills

    • “Spirited Girls Class”: life training

      • About self-discovery to figure out what they want to do

  • Trauma

    • Everyone is at a different place in their journey

    • Need to meet the girls where they’re at

    • Doesn’t happen overnight, takes time

  • What’s the age range you see with the girls?

    • Middle and high school-aged: 11-18 y/o

  • Tell us a little about the trends your seeing and how the Pace Center is really making a difference for the girls:

    • Stats for fiscal year 2020/2021:

      • 71% of girls were failing 1 or more classes prior to attending Pace

        • After attending Pace, 98% improved academically

      • Our center had 4% involved in the juvenile justice system

        • 100% 1 year later were not involved

        • Prevention!

      • 35% were suspended or expelled prior to participation in Pace

        • 69% of our girls were either in school, higher education, or employed 1 year after being in Pace

  • In looking at volunteerism, what type of volunteering/donations would help The Pace Center for Girls? What can the public do to help you?

    • “Working Women Wednesday” program- always looking for leaders in the community to come

    • Opportunities for tutoring and mentorship

      • Allows the girls to see that not just the people in the center care, but the greater community cares for their success

    • Clothing

      • Sponsoring t-shirts for uniform

      • “Growth and Change” program

        • Girls earn points for positive behavior

        • Each month, they get to shop in the point store

        • Always looking for donations to fill the point store

          • Amazon lists exist as well for this purpose

  • What is the best way to connect?

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