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Monday, March 26, 2012

Need to Bridge Your Unemployment Gap?

If you’re between jobs or just want to beef up your résumé, volunteering may be the way to do it: One in five employers consider outside volunteer service a reason for hiring
a job candidate, according to a survey from LinkedIn, a business resource service.

“If you’re unemployed, this work shows you’ve been productive,” says John Challenger, the CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based outplacement firm in an interview with “Real Simple” magazine. “And if you’re already employed, it supplements the experiences you’ve gained at your job.” 

Eric Yankwitt, the founder of the Pompano Beach-based volunteer organization Florida Community Support sees the benefits of volunteering each day, including building job skills and the good feelings that come with making the world a better place. 

“Our organization is based around finding creative ways to serve needy populations,” says Yankwitt, who is an attorney, accountant and insurance professional. “This doesn’t just extend to financial need—it’s for people in need of legal advice, support groups for families and access for those are feeling lonely and want to make a new friend.” 

One Organization, Many Outlets

Florida Community Support has many outlets for a willing volunteer to get involved or financially support. This includes:

• Business Seminars: From tutorials on starting a new business to tax law to marketing your business, attending a free S.C.O.R.E. and R.E.E.P. session can help you get started. Florida Community Support also offers seminars on QuickBooks to help you manage your money. Click here to find an upcoming seminar in locations such as Miami, Deerfield Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Pembroke Pines. 

• Support Groups: Florida Community Support offers many supportgroups, including groups from those who have experienced a recent death, those who live with alcoholics and parents of disabled children. 

“A licensed therapist leads these groups, and they provide an outlet for people to receive support and meet others going through similar experiences,” Yankwitt says. 

• Special Events: From organizing a Thanksgiving Day meal for those who may not have others to celebrate with to setting out to break the Guinness Book of World Record’s “World’s Largest Simon Says” contest, Florida Community Support is always looking to organize and promote new ways to bring people together. 

Simon Says, “Set the World Record”

Speaking of the “World’s Largest Simon Says” contest, the opportunity for you to be a part of the record books is coming up. On August 27, 2012, thousands of people across South Florida will set out to beat the current world record. This doesn’t have to happen in one place. Instead, Florida Community Support is organizing various community locations and condo and homeowner’s association clubhouses in Broward County where you can be a part of the fun. 

“The Simon Says event is an easy way to get involved, meet some of your neighbors and possibly even win a prize,” Yankwitt says. 

The current record is 12,215, set on June 14, 2007, in Cedar City, Utah. Now is your chance to be in the record books. 

Volunteers Needed

All sorts of reasons exist to volunteer: From improving your mental functioning to boosting the likelihood you’ll get hired, volunteering can help in all facets of your life. If you’re looking for a place to get started, Florida Community Support is here

“We encourage every person that ever needs to feel like they’re a part of something to volunteer with our organization,” Yankwitt says. “We have veterans, retirees, college students and high school students—people from every walk of life. They all have gifts and talents to contribute to our organization.” 

Ready to get involved with Florida Community Support? For more information, visit You also can e-mail If you’re more of an in-person visitor, visit the organization’s offices at 2304 East Atlantic Blvd., 2nd Floor, Pompano Beach, FL 33063. 

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