Taking a much-needed vacation is always refreshing.  Many guests are finding ways to feel even better about their time spent on the Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast by setting aside time to volunteer. Volunteering while on vacation has become so popular it has been dubbed “voluntourism.” Volunteering is rewarding to all involved and there are many opportunities in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island.  As Ghandi said, “The best way to find yourself is lose yourself in the service of others.”

We all enjoy the pristine beaches of the Emerald Coast and a perfect way to give back is attending a beach cleanup event! Donate a few hours of your time to help dispose of unwanted trash and you’ll be helping in the effort to keep our beautiful beaches clean and marine and wildlife safe from harm. Recently, Saltwater Restaurants, the Emerald Coast CVB, and the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance hosted a beach cleanup at The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island and as this video shows it was a huge success! 

Take a moment to check local calendars to see when you can pitch in while visiting! The Tourist Development Department organizes a spring and fall beach cleanup each year and maintains an Adopt-A-County Road and Adopt-A-Dune litter control program.  More information can be found here:  http://www.co.okaloosa.fl.us/environmental/council/coastal-cleanup

The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance is a non-profit organization responsible for sustaining healthy local waterways through monitoring, education, restoration, and research.  Want to get involved?   Check out their volunteer information page: http://basinalliance.org/volunteer/

Henderson Beach State Park located in Destin has a variety of ways you can donate time at the park, even if your stay is short.  They are always in need of an extra hand to help on various projects or to simply greet guests.  For further information on volunteering at Henderson Beach State Park please visit www.floridastateparks.org. 

We hope you are inspired to donate your time while visiting Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island!