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High school volunteers donate time, make friendships at Gulf Coast Village

Forty Southwest Florida teenagers spent a portion of their summer break volunteering at Gulf Coast Village in Cape Coral, offering a valuable helping hand to staff while forming intergenerational friendships with residents.

Collectively, the high school students tallied more than 1,000 volunteer hours in Gulf Coast Village’s Life Enrichment activities program, helping lead interactive, enjoyable activities like arts and crafts, bingo and sing-alongs.

“It’s refreshing to see today’s youth take an interest in making a difference in the lives of seniors,” said Diana Nicol, volunteer coordinator. “Many of our student volunteers showed exemplary leadership abilities and were very dependable.”

Because Gulf Coast Village is sponsored by Volunteers of America, a nonprofit organization, students can apply their volunteer time toward service hour requirements of Florida’s Bright Futures scholarship program. Florida Medallion Scholars must complete at least 75 hours of community service, while Florida Academic Scholars need 100 service hours to qualify for financial assistance.

Adi Castillo, a junior at Cape Coral High School, was among the 40 students who spent a portion of this summer at Gulf Coast Village.

“I loved the friendly atmosphere,” Castillo said. “The residents and staff are so sweet and can cheer you up in no time. They feel like family.”

“It was a great learning experience for me,” added Adam Davis, a senior at Cape Coral High. “I had some great conversations with the residents and enjoyed being with them.”

Gulf Coast Village welcomes student volunteers, ages 14 and above, throughout the school year, in addition to adult volunteers eager to make a difference in the lives of area seniors. School, church and community groups also are welcome.

For more information about volunteer opportunities at Gulf Coast Village, please contact Diana Nicol at dianan@gulfcoastvillage.org or 239-573-3334.

About Gulf Coast Village

Founded almost 30 years ago, Gulf Coast Village is the premier Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Cape Coral, Florida. Residents enjoy active independent living in an unparalleled lifestyle of comfort and convenience with a rich array of services and amenities that are focused on living well. The community also offers the security of knowing there is the full continuum of care when needed including:  assisted living, skilled nursing, secured memory support, home health and outpatient services. Gulf Coast Village is located at 1333 Santa Barbara Blvd., Cape Coral, FL 33991. For more information call 239-772-1333 or visit www.GulfCoastVillage.com.

Gulf Coast Village is sponsored by Volunteers of America, a national non-profit faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Volunteers of America was founded in 1896 and is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit providers of quality, affordable housing for seniors and a provider of professional long-term care including assisted living, home health care and nursing home care.

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